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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5146
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I am looking for an attorney to answer questions I have about my union and what they did to me. I am looking to sue them for harassment.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

I'd be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding your situation.

What is the union suing you and your husband for? Unpaid dues or something else?

Other than suing you and your hubsband, has the union engaged in other forms of harassment or is it limited to court actions that have been taken against you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

They sued him for retirement they paid him because he was working as an electrician in the state of Nevada. Based on federal law, he is allowed to work outside their jurisdiction. He retired from IBEW Local 11, located in Los Angeles, CA. The do not and cannot dispactch to Las Vegas, NV, which is where he was working. They claim to have served him at our address in Pahrump, NV. They could not have served him because he was working in the state of California at the time. I realize this somewhat confusing and would be willing to have a telephone conference with you. I can be reached at (XXX) XXX-XXXX


Thank you for your time


 


Jacqui Pittman

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.

Hello Jacqui,

Unfortunately, JustAnswer experts are not allowed to contact customers outisde of the terms of the site.

Was the suit that was made successful against your husband? Was a verdict made against him? Has your husband made any attempt to set aside the verdict or appeal it based on lack of service?

Would the suit be the basis of your harassment suit, or has the union engaged in other activities that have harassed you and/or your husband.

I'm not sure what you mean also by outside the union's jurisdiction. Of course, his local union would not extend to Las Vegas, Nevada, but the IBEW does have a branch in Las Vegas, so he may be required to follow the sister's union's rules and the work would be considered outside of 'their jurisdiction.'

For instance, Recently, a Federal District Court held that a union contractor who resigned from one local (in his jurisdiction) and switched over to a sister local – in this same jurisdiction – was still bound by his “old” union’s contract because it covered the same geography and through the “traveling contracts” clause was included in his new union’s contract.

Who did they claim to serve at your address in Pahrump, NV. Personal service is satisfied by leaving the document with any resident over the age of 18, so your husband did not need to be at the address to receive proper service.

All this said, unless the union has done any activity outside of the court actions (for instance, leaving threatening messages or similar actions), their suit would not be considered 'harassing' even if it was legally invalid. (However, it would make your cause of action even more difficult if the case was decided in the union's favor against your husband).

 

Finally, it does appear that your husband may have violated the term of his pension (which would be a breach of contract cause of action) if he misrepresented that he was entirely retired from the electrical industry, which is required before someone can receive retirement or pension benefits.

 

See the IBEW questions and answer section on pensions here:

 

http://www.ibew.org/members/pensionbenefitfund/PBF120827/Questions%20and%20Answers.pdf

I would highly suggest that your husband speak to a local employment lawyer about his situation, especially one who specializes in retirement and pension benefits.

Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5146
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Please see the questions and answers 67 and 68 here:

18
A65
:
No! If a person can qualify for membership in a local union, he can qua
lify for the
pension and
death benefit
coverage which are part of that membership.
Q6
6
:
Why do provisions of the I.B.E.W. Constitution deny a member the right to assign
the benefits of the Pension Benefit Plan?
A
66
:
To protect the member’s benefits from
the claims of creditors.
Q67
:
Can a member receiving a pension benefit waive his monthly pension payments,
return to activity in the electrical industry,
and then
have the pension benefit
payments resumed when the member retires once again?
A67
:
Yes!
If the member is again engaged in the electrical industry, it is mandatory that the
member resume the payment of dues and, through his local union, notify the International
Secretary
-
Treasurer to cease paying the monthly pension benefit. When the member
a
gain retires, dues payments will be discontinued and pension payments will be resumed,
upon proper notice to the International Secretary
-
Treasurer. If the I.B.E.W. Pension
Benefit Fund is not notified in a timely manner of a member’s return to work and
co
ntinues to pay a pension benefit for some time, the member must return the benefits
paid while he was working. If the benefits are not repaid, the Fund may withhold all
benefits when the member again retires from working until the overpaid benefits are
re
covered.
Q68
:
Why is a member who is receiving pension benefits not permitted to do electrical
work of any kind?
A68
:
The pension benefit is for those “A” members who retire from working at the electrical
industry. The fact that they receive a pension
being paid for partly by those members
who continue to work, pay dues, and struggle for better pay and working conditions
would give the pensioned member an unfair advantage in the labor market.

I I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope to appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.

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Joseph
Joseph
California Employment Lawyer
5146 Satisfied Customers
Extensive experience representing employees and management