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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20292
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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My shop steward came up to me at work and said the supervisor

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My shop steward came up to me at work and said the supervisor was looking for me to fire me. He kept saying they were going to pull my pension and I better leave right now. Being that I only had one year to go to retirement and my supervisor had been on my case, I felt I had no option but to self-retire from Boeing. Turns out, the company was not going to fire me and that the process I had been following for years was checked out with engineers and ok'd. The union said they went to the company three times and was turned down in their request that I be reinstated. There is more to the whole story but in a nutshell, I'm not sure if my quest is towards the union or the company. Might I have any recourse here?

Thank you for the information and your question. Did you ever speak to your supervisor or HR about whether or not you were going to be terminated and for what? Are you saying that this union shop steward lied to you intentionally and that you just put in your paperwork to retire without asking any questions? I am not judging your actions, I just need clarification of the facts. Did the company give a specific reason for declining your reinstatment? What does the union say about this steward's actions?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I did not talk to anyone at the time as I knew how my supervisor felt about me. He was constantly on my case and made working there very difficult. In hindsight, I should've, should've, should've stayed and seen the situation thru. However, I felt if the union were telling me to do something, it must be true. I wouldn't put it past my supervisor to try to anything to get me out.

I did talk to HR a few days later and they said they were going to look into it. On June 24, I had a reply from Jeanine Towner that my email had been forwarded to Employee Relations and that they would be in touch with the union. I've heard nothing back from them on this.

It was on the word of the shop steward that I checked out. I don't think he lied to me intentionally. He didn't know that the company couldn't just fire without proper procedures. This happened on a Tuesday and it was on Friday that he went to the union hall and found out he was wrong in what he told me.

The company has not talked to me at all. Haven't heard back from them; nothing in writing. They have responded thru the union that it was a decision I made to check out on retirement. However, I would not have if not for incorrect information from a union steward.

Hello again David and thank you for additional information. It is difficult to tell if anyone is really liable for what turned out to be a massive misunderstanding. Just from the few facts I have about what happened, I see nothing that would indicate that the employer would be under any duty to reinstate or rehire you. Again, that is only based on the facts I have.

Whether or not you could have reasonably relied on what the union steward said, without waiting for confirmation from the employer via HR, is a question of fact that only a court could iron out after gathering facts from you, the union, and the employer. If there would be any arguable cause of action, it might be against the union, but it would not be a given that they have liability, based on what I just mentioned. You can certainly sit down with a local employment/labor law firm and discuss the facts in detail to see if they think the union violated their duty of good faith and fair dealing with you in the shop steward's actions. But unless the attorney believes that has occured, there wouldn't generally be any other recourse for the way this turned out, including the employer's denial to take you back.

Please let me know if you have any specific follow up questions. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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