Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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First, she needs to file for unemployment immediately. The point of this is to preserve that right and to fight the idea that she resigned rather than being terminated. It also forces the employer to go on the record (because the state will require an explanation of the situation from the employer), which may help later on.
Second, she needs to sit tight and let her union grievance process be completed. Before she would have the ability to file any external lawsuit for breach of contract (her union agreement), she has to first complete all administrative processes internally (meaning the grievance).
Finally, once that is done, if the grievance doesn't turn out as she'd like THEN she needs to hire a local attorney to file a breach of contract claim against the employer.
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