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Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3896
Experience:  Attorney since 1986; Plain English - Discrimination, Fire/Hire, Non-Compete, etc.
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I transferred from one paid department to another. When interviewing

Customer Question

I transferred from one paid department to another. When interviewing with the Chief of the transfer Dept. I asked if my 4 1/2 years at the previous Dept. would translate with reference to my pay, and Vacation status. I was assured it would translate. Once hired, and Union representatives discovered I was being paid at the rate of a 5 year veteran, as well as receiving 3 weeks vacation. The union proceeded to grieve the benefits I was receiving. I received the promised benefits for nine months, when I was told by the chief of the Dept. that the town and the Union were meeting for arbitration on my benefits. I attended this meeting with dismay from union representatives, that I had found out about there hearing. At this point The Union and Town Attorney went into a closed door session, that I was not invited to attend. My question is, have my rights been violated?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.


While we write back and forth, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Sometimes I'm unable to read your entire question until AFTER I write back to you.


Although it's usually five minutes, sometimes there can be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be researching the answer to your question, helping other customers, or taking a break. If we are writing late at night, I may have to go to sleep and resume helping you the following morning.


I need the following information before I can answer your question:


Have you continued to receive the same pay/benefits or have they been reduced?


I'm a bit confused about your question about your rights being violated. Do you mean by the union? What type of rights were you thinking, contractual with the union?


Is it mandatory or voluntary that you be a union member?


I'll look forward to hearing from you,


Jane Doe Deer

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My pay and benefits were both reduced, I went from top step private, to probationary 1st step private. Also I was told I have to pay back all vacation I was given, that I had already used in the first nine months.
My right have been violated by the town, and the Union. The town promised me a certain benefit package, and took it away. The union had a fuduciary responsibility to do what's best for all members. By them grieving my benefits, they took 144 hours out over the overtime schedule. There by hampering the ability of other union members to make more money. At this point I have brought a lawsuit agianst the town. I feel the union is leaving me no choice in regards XXXXX XXXXX dealings.
It is not mandatory to be in the union, however you must still pay union dues regardless. The union votes its members in. I would still have to pay dues regardless.
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 5 years ago.

Ah, thank you for the clarification. I think that your lawsuit could be brought against the town AND the union - it may depend on your contract.


I'm a bit confused - you're asking if your rights were violated, but you said that you already filed a lawsuit - that makes it sound as though you have already decided that your rights WERE violated and you took action.


If that's the case, how can I be of help to you?


Am I missing something in your question? My sincere apologies if I have - I'm here to help people, and would like to continue trying to help you.


My best,




PS I won't be working here on Friday, but will check back on Saturday morning. I'm almost at the end of my day right now.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes I have filed a suit against the town, with the union deciding to assist the town in the defence? I want to know if the union has violated there fiduciary responsibility to me, and to see if I have agiagianst the union?
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 5 years ago.
Yes, I think you could amend your complaint to include the union as a second defendant - or a second case (but that costs) more.
Jane Doe Deer and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Does civil service law supercede union contracts
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 5 years ago.

All law (that passed by a legislature or your county, etc) will usually supercede a union (or other contract) if the contract terms are contrary to law.


Let me give you a nutty and obvious example. If your union contract says that you must kill one person per year, it'd be pretty obvious that that provision is contrary to law.


Other terms may be subtle.


Moreover, there's a big question here regarding whether or not the union violated the terms of its contract to represent YOU. They will probably argue that they were acting in the interest of the public good in some way (for all the members).


You may not like what I'm going to suggest, but you may want to find an attorney to coach you, if not all out represent you. An attorney who is coaching would have a limited role in your case (as much or little as you want to pay for), such as reviewing documents before you file them, to make sure they're written as well as possible. Otherwise, you're sort of like David going against Goliath (spelling?).


Let me tell you that if you decide to amend your complaint and include another defendant, you not only have to serve the new defendant, but must also mail a copy of the amendmended complaint to the attorneys representing your first defendant (you must cc defendants on everything you file in court, preferably with a copy date-stamped by the court).


Please let me know if you want links to such things as the employment attorneys' association or the trial attorneys association.


Otherwise, do not hesitate to write back if I can be of any further help. Meanwhile, thanks for accepting!


My best,



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
At this point my case has been dismissed on grounds we didn't provide sufficient evidence that I was placed on probation.
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 5 years ago.

Was it dismissed on summary judgment? If so, you can either ask for reconsideration or appeal, but there are deadlines for doing either.


If it's still within the statute of limitations, you could possibly file a new lawsuit, but there are obstacles to doing this. I urge you to talk with a trial attorney in your state who handles employment.


Here are the links I promised:




I wouldn't be adverse to your having a 1/2 hr to 1 hr consultation - be sure to bring a notepad and take notes. But don't actually HIRE an attorney without first checking references. And don't try to pick the attorney's brain on the phone. Schedule an appointment and visit the office, like you would for a doctor!


You may want to talk with an attorney from a large firm (more resources) in a large city.


I'm going to take a brief break. I'll be back soon.


My best,



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