What are my options if my employerrefuses to honor a provision in my labor contract?

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2010

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What are my options if my employerrefuses to honor a provision in my labor contract?

My labor union recently ratified a contract that provides a “perfect attendance bonus” for all employees meeting certain requirements. I recently met all the requirements, but as a part time employee have been denied the bonus due to my part time status. The contract distinctly does not differentiate between full and part time employees in this section (it does elsewhere). I’ve been told by shop stewards that the union business rep has decided not to pursue this with the company. I find that decision as such to be rather arbitrary and capricious. What are my options?

Asked on July 16, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

To either go above your union business rep or to hire an attorney to pursue the matter on your behalf.  But you should seek at least legal consultation on the contract and how he or she thinks your position will hold up in a court of law.  Also make sure that the contract does not have mandatory arbitration instead of the ability to sue in court.  Sometimes they do.   The outcome of your case can be dependent on the arbitrator (as can it be depending on the judge) but your ability to appeal a decision is stymied in binding arbitration.  Ask about that as well.  Good luck with everything.  And congratulations.   

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