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Lawyer Bob
Lawyer Bob, Labor Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 418
Experience:  J.D. magna cum laude
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What is penalty for an employer falsifying employee records

Resolved Question:

What is penalty for an employer falsifying employee records or union contract violations?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lawyer Bob replied 8 years ago.
I need a little information to help me out with this one:

(1) What kind of employee records?

(2) What kind of union contract violations?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The records I refer to are records being withheld by my center manager that gives another employee a hire date of 1/02/01 & their hire date is actually 1/05/01. This has affected me with seniority. Union violation regards XXXXX XXXXX placed before me when according to records ignored by manager display me attaining my seniority two & four months before both employees which according to union contract article 37 states I am suppose to have most seniority. I have viewed these records personally & my union states the contract was not used to formulate list that place these employees before me. The records have been there since my hire & they chose to ignore them. Also my seniority was stripped after five years. I need answers please.
Expert:  Lawyer Bob replied 8 years ago.
Alright, have you filed a grievance with the Union and have you been granted a hearing?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I filed several grievances and was never granted a hearing because local union office claims what employer did was correct. Info is withheld in my local office By manager and union rep is refusing to pursue getting critical info that would help me get my seniority back.
Expert:  Lawyer Bob replied 8 years ago.
Alright, you have a couple of options here.

The first is to get a lawyer to bring a grievance against the union and the company. This would be a case in which there would be a potential recovery, so you should be able to get one to take it on a contingency fee (meaning that they will take their fees out of any recovery, so you should not have to pay much upfront). You can find a good one by googling "Plaintiff's union lawyer (your town and your state)" and calling several to see who you are comfortable with.

The second is to file a grievance against the Union and Employer through the National Labor Relations Board. This will avoid incurring any legal costs, and may resolve the situation, but it is always wiser to have an attorney. If you file on your own, then you need to state that the union is failing to advocate on your behalf in breach of its contract. You can do this online or via phone. Here is a link to help you

Unfortunately, their is no quick fix to this and you must work through the grievance system. The union is supposed to be there to help you work things like this out quickly, but they are failing to do so, which is why you will now have to involve the legal process.

I know this is frustrating, but hopefully this will get resolved in your favor.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Can a lawsuit arise for employer withholding critical information?
Expert:  Lawyer Bob replied 8 years ago.
If you were a normal employee, not a union member, then no. Employers with no union contract are not obligated to provide anyone with any seniority, and can not promote you or fire you at any time for any reason or no reason at all.

Because you are in a union, you have certain rights that regarding your employment that most people do not have. However, in order to enforce them, you have to work through the union process that has been agreed upon. If the union is not following through with its obligations to you, than that is the union's fault and not the employers, so you must file a grievance against the union.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So a suit can arise against union for not acquiring information necessary? The only defense I can give union is that my manager in local office is not providing critical info to union and what about falsification of employee's hire date.
Expert:  Lawyer Bob replied 8 years ago.
You have filed a grievance in regard to this matter. The union is claiming the employer is right and will not grant you a hearing. The union has a duty to advocate for you and to see that you are compensated properly and have appropriate seniority. Why won't the union take the employer to arbitration over this?

Because of your union membership, the only way you can bring a case against the employer is through the union. You cannot sue the employer directly. If the union will not properly advocate for you and demand the records, then your only recourse is to go against the union.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So basically my only recourse is to sue union. What can I sue for or how much should I pursue as lawsuit. They do not want to hear my seniority issue anymore because they say nothing can be done. I have contacted local union and national union. They all believe the proper action was taken even though records state the obvious.
Expert:  Lawyer Bob replied 8 years ago.
I cannot tell you what damages you can pursue, what actions to pursue or if you can go to court or have to go to arbitration. That is because the relationship between yourself and the union are controlled by the agreements between you an the union. Those contracts will tell you how you can sue, and what you can recover.

This is why you will need to get a lawyer in your locality to go through these documents with you and give you a legal gameplan for moving forward.

I know this is somewhat frustrating, but that is the trade off for union membership. You get certain rights and cannot be fired without cause, but you also have to play within their system, which can be complicated and slow.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Does my union have the right to force my local office to provide information I know they are withholding?
Expert:  Lawyer Bob replied 8 years ago.
That will also depend on the union contracts, but as a general rule, yes, unions have the power to force an employer to allow them to see any records or documents that effect the pay or career status of its members.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So I obviously have been misrepresented by union in your opinion
Expert:  Lawyer Bob replied 8 years ago.
In my opinion, either there is some information here that I am not aware of, or the union is not treating you correctly. A lawyer will be able to let you know a definitive opinion after he reviews the situation.
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