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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118776
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I work for a supermarket chain for the past ten plus years,

Customer Question

I work for a supermarket chain for the past ten plus years, it is shift work because they are open 24 hrs, I started as a cashier and then doubled as bookkeeper/floor supervisor, I ate a salad from the salad bar in the supermarket, which bookkeepers customarily do, I went home after my shift and on my day off the following day I was called via phone and told I am suspended pending termination because I ate the salad for my break, I was further told that even though it was not the first time eating the salad with the store managers permission only head/day bookkeepers are afforded that privilege. I have paid union dewssince starting, what are my rights and what are my entitlements after almost eleven years of unbroken service?
JA: PayPal, Debitcard or credit card are all fine.
Customer: Do I pay before an answer?
JA: You end up paying for the answer if you are satisfied with it.
Customer: This happened in New York
JA: Was this discussed with a manager, HR, or an attorney?
Customer: No just called the union rep and was told they'd get back to me still waiting
JA: Is the employment "at will," union, full time, or part time?
Customer: Full time, don't have a choice union dews deducted
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Will I be connected to someone in New York,Manhattan area and are they credible, don't want to waste time
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, unless the union contract says you can eat lunch from the salad bar, that is certainly not an entitlement you have or even a privilege.
In order to dispute this, you need to file a union grievance and you need to prove that what you did was approved by a supervisor or was customary practice within the store with all bookkeepers. This means you need to bring all of the other bookkeepers in to testify that they all engage in the same practice or the supervisor has to testify they approved you doing so and if the employer continues with the termination, then the union needs to file for arbitration for you to present your case.
You will need to pursue the union process, because your contract says that the union is the sole agent to represent the employee against the employer and you need to follow your contract's grievance and arbitration process.
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Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.