Choosing the Right Union Labor Lawyer

Choosing the Right Union Labor Lawyer

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Jan 4, 2023

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

The power of collective bargaining is one of the most important tools that workers have. However, negotiating with your employer can be difficult, even if you are motivated and have prepared beforehand. This is especially true if you have to balance competing interests or push back against unfair practices by your employer.

The right union labor lawyer can help your efforts against unfair employment practices succeed, as well as bolster your collective bargaining efforts. Read on for more information about how to choose an ideal union labor lawyer for you and your fellow workers, or contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-516-342-2200.

What Is a Union Labor Lawyer?

Put simply, a union labor lawyer is a legal professional who practices employment law. That means they are well-versed in laws relating to at-will employment. Labor lawyers may represent employers or employees depending on their clients and preferences.

Most labor lawyers practice in industries that have labor unions. These industries include law enforcement, education, the service industry in some contexts, manufacturing, construction, and so on.

All union labor lawyers are experts in labor laws, as well as union rules and regulations. They know how all of these complex rules apply to union members, employers, and members of the general public. 

Typically, union labor lawyers are called in to handle cases dealing with subjects like:

  • Collective bargaining, during which employers collectively bargain with their employers for things like higher wages, benefits, etc.
  • Negotiations between labor unions and management or executives
  • Union creation, if employees do not have a union protecting their rights yet

Depending on the needs of their clients, union labor lawyers may file lawsuits on their clients’ behalf, request or push for out-of-court settlements, sue an opposing party, and more.

What Do Union Labor Lawyers Do?

Union labor lawyers have a variety of responsibilities. For example, they may help employees understand what it takes to form a union, including helping them file paperwork, getting enough signatures, and drafting labor agreements so there aren’t any legal loopholes employers can exploit in the future.

Furthermore, union labor lawyers may represent labor unions if they have to negotiate with their employers. For instance, if a group of workers wants to negotiate for higher wages, their union labor lawyer may suggest:

  • Going on strike, as well as the specific ways the workers might strike
  • Inviting the employer to a settlement meeting, such as arbitration or negotiation
  • Alternative methods to securing fair pay (e.g., bringing a discrimination or workplace safety suit against an employer)

Union labor lawyers often represent employees whenever there are disputes relating to benefits. If a group of employees wishes for greater health benefits, their lawyer may prepare paperwork explaining the reasons they should receive healthcare benefits, the advantages of doing so, and the consequences if the employer fails to agree to the request.

Some union labor lawyers handle arbitration meetings and proceedings for employee grievances. This can be very important in some industries. Police officers, firefighters, and other government employees cannot strike (since doing so could result in emergency situations). Therefore, they instead undergo grievance or interest arbitration with the help of a union labor lawyer.

Other potential duties and responsibilities of union labor lawyers include:

  • Representing unions or individual employees in front of the NLRB
  • Representing unions if they are currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Representing employees or collective unions when bargaining so that individual union members do not make mistakes, say inappropriate things, etc.

Furthermore, most union labor lawyers are able to handle day-to-day operations for unions. If they are kept on retainer, they may handle tasks such as:

  • Recordkeeping
  • Elections and vote tallying
  • Human resources

To learn more now at no charge, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-516-342-2200. Alternatively, you can visit us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our elite union labor lawyers.

But you shouldn’t wait, as your window to file a claim and recover financially may soon close forever. Instead, act now and allow Schwartzapfel Lawyers the honor and privilege of fighting for you!

When Should You Hire a Union Labor Lawyer?

It’s a wise idea to hire a union labor lawyer in a variety of situations. For example, if you wish to file a lawsuit against your employer, a union labor lawyer will help the process go more smoothly and maximize your chances of seeing a successful verdict in your favor. 

Lawsuits, in general, can be complex and time-consuming, but a knowledgeable employment law lawyer may sway the odds in your favor. They can collect evidence on your behalf, help you prepare your arguments for court or arbitration, and negotiate on your behalf if your employer tries to intimidate you.

Other times when it may be wise to hire a union labor lawyer include:

    • When it’s time to negotiate contract terms in the middle of a union strike. For instance, if you and your coworkers want to get higher wages for your work, having a union labor lawyer on your side can be invaluable in getting a wage bump that suits your needs.
    • Negotiating with or suing your employer if they fired you on unreasonable grounds. A good attorney can help you get employed once again or ensure you receive due damages for being fired unfairly.
  • Suing your employer if the employer doesn’t provide you with duly required severance pay.

Note that there are many times when it could be wise to hire a union labor lawyer if you are an employer as well. For example, if you run a small business and your employees are causing trouble, you should hire a union labor lawyer when:

  • You think your employees are planning to strike. The right lawyer can settle things down and help everyone reach an amicable agreement.
  • You need to fire an employee who is a union member and wants to make sure there is no pushback.
  • A government agency representative visits your company or contacts you seeking information about an incident at work.
  • An employee has either threatened to file or has filed a lawsuit accusing you or your business of wrongful termination, hazardous work conditions, and more.

The right union labor lawyer can protect you from inaccurate lawsuits or accusations while allowing your business to continue operations. In many cases, too, a skilled union labor lawyer can help you settle matters out of court, which is usually faster and more cost-effective than taking things to trial.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-516-342-2200 for a free consultation and let us fight for you!

How To Choose the Best Union Labor Lawyer

Given the many benefits of a union labor lawyer, it’s a good idea to do your research and hire the best potential legal professional possible. To help you with this, you should look for several key attributes that indicate a lawyer is a good fit for your needs.

Choose a Lawyer with Experience

For starters, you should only hire a union labor lawyer with extensive experience in labor laws. It doesn’t make sense, for instance, to hire an attorney for your union negotiations if that law firm only practices auto accident law.

To determine this, you should Google the name of a potential law firm to see what practice areas they offer. Alternatively, you may contact a law firm in person or over the phone and ask about what kind of law they practice, past successes, and what they can do for you. 

Ask Key Questions During a Free Consultation

Always meet with a union labor lawyer before hiring them for your needs. In the free consultation, you should ask them key questions such as:

  • What cases has the lawyer handled before? If these cases sound similar to your own and have been handled effectively, there is a good chance the lawyer will be able to provide invaluable services for your union negotiation(s), labor lawsuit(s), and beyond.
  • Who will handle the work should you choose to hire them? This is an important question to ask, especially when considering large law firms that have many potential attorneys to take on your case.
  • What kind of settlement or outcome they expect. Note here that no lawyer should promise you a certain amount in damages or compensation. This is because even the best attorneys cannot guarantee the outcome of any legal action.
  • How they will approach your case and what strategies they will employ. This is a good question to determine more about how the union labor lawyer will negotiate with your employer or how they plan to make the most of your current situation.

Asking questions is always advisable. The more questions you ask, the more comfortable you’ll be hiring a given union labor lawyer. With something as important as labor laws and union negotiations, it’s not a good idea to skip this step or hire the first union labor lawyer you can find.

Check Reviews

It’s furthermore wise to check online and in-person reviews for an attorney before hiring them. You can use resources like Google and Yelp to determine what past and current clients think of a lawyer or law firm. This is always a good idea since disgruntled clients will be sure to spread the word around.

On the flip side, highly rated lawyers are almost always worth your time. Those with stellar reputations are responsible, personable, guiding, and trustworthy.

Hire a Lawyer with a Contingency Fee Policy

You should only hire a union labor lawyer who operates on a contingency fee policy. In a nutshell, a contingency fee policy means that the lawyer in question will only charge you money if they secure a settlement or damages on your behalf.

For instance, if you are suing your employer for withholding wages and you hire a union labor lawyer with a contingency fee policy, you’ll only have to pay that lawyer if they are successful in your case. 

This is a good thing to look for because it prevents you from having to add to your financial burdens in the middle of legal actions. Schwartzapfel Lawyers operates on a contingency fee basis for the betterment of all of our clients.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today

A good union labor lawyer will significantly improve your chances of securing labor rights for you and your fellow workers. More importantly, a union labor lawyer can ensure that your collective bargaining is as effective and powerful as possible. You should not open negotiations with your employer or form a union without a qualified labor lawyer at your side.

To that end, Schwartzapfel Lawyers has served New Yorkers just like you for years. As skilled workers’ compensation and labor lawyers, we’re well-equipped to assist with your legal needs as soon as you give us a call at 1-516-342-2200 or contact us online today for a free consultation.

Don’t delay! Your future is too important. Instead, act now and save yourself miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the road. Call Schwartzapfel Lawyers now! We’ll handle your case so that, along the way and through the finish line, you can rest easy.

Sources:

Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

Employment Law | Nolo

The Trouble with Police Unions | National Affairs

Contingency Fee | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

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