Retaliation for Collective Action Is Very Common

Labor unions were once incredibly common. In the past, as many as 25% of all employees in the United States were members of unions. Subsequently, many laws were passed to weaken unions. Now, more like 10% of employees are in unions.  A larger number of employees have different collective bargaining agreements . That means they’re not in unions but they’re willing to bargain for benefits and compensation as a bloc. All of these things are designed to give employees more power. Obviously, some employers don’t like that. As a result, some employers will take action against employees for union action or for collective action. That is, in most cases, a violation of US labor laws. If you suspect you are being targeted for collective action, you need an employment attorney.


In most employment fields, it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for collective action, for union action, or for seeking to organize into a union. The first such law was passed in 1935 and has been amended and reinterpreted since then. That can make it very complex to determine to what you are entitled and how to go about obtaining it. It can even be difficult to determine if you are being illegally treated. It is legal for your employer to discourage collective action, but it is not illegal for them to punish anyone. That can sometimes be very fine line.

Who Is Not Covered?

The National Labor Relations Act in 1935 is the first law governing collective action in the United States. There are several types of work that are not covered under this law. They are including, but not limited to, domestic service, agriculture, independent contracting, guards, and confidential employees.

There are some subsequent laws that might govern these areas. There are also some state and local laws that govern them. That’s why you need to call an attorney who specializes in collective action law in your area. Just any employment lawyer won’t suffice. They need to specialize in union work.

What Happens?

You might be wondering what typically happens when someone sues their employer or their company for retaliation. There are different things that can result. In most cases, your case will go before a judge who will decide how best to rule. In some instances, being willing to go to trial with your case is enough to get your employer to settle. Otherwise, the judge will rule on whether you should be awarded money as compensation. If your employment status has been changed, the judge will rule on whether that should be altered as well.

Still unsure if you’ve been a target of retaliation? Call Boise employment law attorney, Jeff Townsend to schedule an in-person consultation.

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