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NYC labor law attorneysMillions of American workers pay their union dues under the assumption that their officers will act in their best interests and protect the rights of the collective. Unfortunately, there is a deep, dark secret that unions do not want their members to know: Over the past five years, hundreds (potentially even thousands) of labor leaders have been removed from office and convicted for crimes that include embezzlement, racketeering, corruption, and engaging in organized crime. 

Signs of Trouble in Your Union

It can be difficult to spot union corruption, especially when you are not privy to the details involved in negotiations. However, there are some red flags to be aware of, including but not limited to:

  • Unnecessary or inappropriate purchases
  • Questionable invoices
  • Changes in behavior when hot-button issues come up
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Attempts to coerce employees
  • Abuse of power
  • Acceptance of deals that are clearly in the best interest of your employer
  • An erosion of your rights or benefits
  • Incomplete travel or expense forms

If you notice any of these signs—or any others that may suggest corruption in your union—it is important for you to take action. Otherwise, you and your co-workers’ rights could continue to be eroded, and the funds you put aside to benefit the collective will continue to be used for improper or illicit acts or items.

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New York Labor Union LawyersIt can feel like a major accomplishment to finally land that union job—especially because you now have all the benefits you need to keep your family happy, safe, and stable, including health insurance, paid holidays, vacation time, and holidays. What you may not know is that union jobs offer additional benefits to their members, such as support, advice, and union representation if issues with your employer arise. Union members also have specific rights under union laws.

Your Union Member Bill of Rights

Every labor union in the United States is bound by Landrum-Griffin Act (otherwise known as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act). Under this federal statute, you have certain rights as a member, including:

  • The equal right to participate in all union-related activities
  • Freedom of speech and the right to assemble
  • A say in the setting of union dues, fees, and assessment rates
  • Protection from unfair or improper disciplinary action from your employer
  • A voice in union elections
  • The right to file suit against your employer for unfair or improper treatment
  • Access to copies of any agreements made between your employer and the union

In addition, your union officers have certain responsibilities. Specifically, they are legally required to safeguard the best interests of their members, and violations can open them up to removal from office.

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NYC Union Representation LawyersThe rights and benefits available to union employees are diverse and vast, but one thing a majority of union jobs have in common is a level of security. Such security is appealing to anyone desiring stable employment, especially when it enables us to provide not only for ourselves but for our families as well. When compared to the rest of the country, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2018, the state of New York accounted for one of the largest numbers of union members, with nearly 2 million members statewide. On top of that, another 155,000 hourly and salaried employees were associated with unions, whether they were covered by their main day job or represented through a contract, even if they were not union members themselves. 

Benefits to Which You May be Entitled

Considering the union culture’s wide scope of influence, it is helpful for anyone applying for a union job or existing members to familiarize themselves with the various benefits they can expect to receive as an employee. 

Some key benefits members may be entitled to include:

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Manhattan Union Law AttorneysYou finally landed that union job—the one that offers you all the benefits you and your family need. What you may not know is that your new position offers you more than just medical insurance and paid holidays, vacations, and sick time. You also have access to advice, support, and representation from your union representatives if a problem with your employer arises. Union members also have specific rights afforded to them by union laws.

Union Member Bill of Rights

All labor unions in the United States are bound under the Landrum-Griffin Act. Also known as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, this legal measure guarantees certain rights to union members, including:

  • Equal rights to participate in union-related activities
  • A voice in the setting of union fees, dues, and assessment rates
  • Freedom of speech and assembly
  • Protection of your right to bring suit against your employer
  • Protection against improper or unfair disciplinary action from your employer
  • Access to copies of any agreements made between the union and your employer
  • A say in union member elections

In regard to union member elections, you have additional sanctioned rights, including the right to run for office, cast a secret ballot, and protest the conduct or process of a union election. Additionally, members may file a motion to have a union officer removed from their position if they are found guilty of serious misconduct.

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New York employment law attorneysThere has been a wave of states that have taken the view that possession of marijuana should not be a criminal offense. Accordingly, many of them have been working diligently to change their laws. New York has recently passed and put into effect a law that decriminalizes possession of marijuana.

Previously, New York was one of 29 states and the District of Columbia that legalized use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, even though medicinal use of marijuana was allowed in New York, the possession and use of marijuana remained illegal under federal law. That still is the case, even with marijunana being decriminalized on the state level.

Given this obvious contradiction between federal and state laws, there are several legal issues still unresolved. These concerns will likely be addressed through the years in the court systems to finally bring some clarity as to what is permitted regarding marijuana under both federal and state laws..

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