Unfair Labor Practices Attorneys Serving Los Angeles, California
As an employer in California, it is essential to ensure that your business complies with all labor laws and regulations. Violations can lead to significant financial penalties, disastrous lawsuits, and a damaged reputation. One of the most serious offenses that you should be aware of as an employer is unfair labor practices.
If you are accused of unfair labor practices, contact our skilled employment law attorneys at Lerner & Weiss. We can help you navigate the legal system and defend you against any claims. Our unfair labor practices attorneys in Los Angeles, California, represent employers throughout San Diego, Santa Ana, Woodland Hills, Ventura County, and all of the Greater Los Angeles area.
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What Are Unfair Labor Practices?
Unfair labor practices are any actions by employers that interfere with employees’ rights to organize, form, and join labor unions or engage in protected collective bargaining activities.
Some of the most common examples of unfair labor practices include:
- threatening employees who want to form or join a union with adverse job consequences, such as layoffs or demotions
- spying on employees’ union activities or meeting notes
- interfering with employees’ rights to support their union, such as by blocking union advertisements or disciplining employees who wear union-related clothing or buttons
- refusing to bargain in good faith by avoiding or delaying negotiations, refusing to provide relevant information, or providing false information
- discriminating against employees who support the union, such as by refusing to hire them, promoting less qualified employees, or terminating them
- altering working conditions to undermine union activities, such as by changing the schedule or job requirements
- refusing to sign a union’s collective bargaining agreement or violating its terms
If you are accused of any of the above-mentioned or other unfair labor practices, get legal counsel as soon as possible to discuss your best course of action.
Important State and Federal Labor Laws
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935, which governs most private employers, outlines protected activities. The purpose of the NLRA is to encourage collective bargaining and protect employees from certain types of employer and union misconduct.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) oversees the enforcement of the NLRA, which prohibits all private employers from engaging in unfair labor practices. The Board investigates complaints received by unions or employees and has the power to order employers to cease and desist from unfair labor practices or take corrective actions, such as reinstating workers or awarding back pay.
Another important federal law is called the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, which protects the rights of federal employees to bargain collectively and engage in labor organizations of their choice, according to the U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority.
California has additional labor laws that provide a higher level of employee protection than NLRA. Employers with five or more employees must comply with the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the California Labor Code. FEHA prohibits various forms of discrimination, such as age, disability, race, religion, or sexual orientation. The Labor Code, in addition to outlining employees’ rights to form and join labor unions, lays out regulations on minimum wage, overtime, and working hours.
What to Do if You Are Accused of Unfair Labor Practices
As an employer, being accused of unfair labor practices can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. It is essential to know what steps to take to protect yourself and your business:
1. Review the Accusations
The first step in dealing with accusations of unfair labor practices is to review the allegations in detail. This means getting a copy of the complaint or charge from the appropriate government agency and reading it thoroughly. Take note of specific dates, times, and incidents that are mentioned in the complaint. This information will be crucial in determining how to respond to the allegations.
2. Contact Legal Counsel
Employment law is complex, and it is vital that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after being accused of unfair labor practices. Your attorney will be able to review the complaint or charge and advise you on how to proceed. They can also help you prepare a response that is accurate, complete, and effective.
3. Cooperate With Government Agencies
If you are facing accusations of unfair labor practices, you need to cooperate with the government agency investigating the allegations. This includes responding to requests for information and allowing the agency access to your workplace to conduct interviews and inspections. Failure to cooperate can result in additional legal consequences and negative publicity for your business.
4. Do Not Retaliate
It is illegal to retaliate against employees who report unfair labor practices or participate in investigations into those practices. This includes firing, demoting, or otherwise punishing employees who are involved in reporting the allegations against you. Retaliation can result in additional legal problems for you and your business, so it is important to avoid this at all costs.
5. Take Steps to Prevent Future Allegations
Finally, it is important to take steps to prevent future allegations of unfair labor practices. This includes reviewing your existing policies and procedures, conducting employee training on appropriate workplace behavior, and implementing a system for handling complaints and grievances. By taking these steps, you can demonstrate your commitment to a fair and equitable workplace and avoid future legal problems.
Possible Consequences for Labor Law Violations
Employers who commit unfair labor practices can face penalties and other consequences. The severity of the penalty will depend on the nature of the violation. Some common penalties include back pay, job reinstatement, and fines. If an employer is found to have violated California labor laws, they may be required to pay damages to the employee, which can result in substantial sums of money. In severe cases, employers who are found guilty of committing unfair labor practices can face criminal charges.
If an employee believes they are dealing with unfair labor practices, they have the right to seek legal remedies. Employees can file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner or a lawsuit in court. If an employee wins the lawsuit, they may be entitled to back pay, damages, and attorney’s fees. In some cases, a court may also order an employer to stop the unfair labor practice.
Unfair Labor Practices Attorneys Serving Los Angeles, California
As an employer, respecting your employees’ rights and ensuring compliance with all labor laws is essential. Understanding what constitutes unfair labor practices and what steps to take when facing these accusations is important to protect yourself and your business. Contact Lerner & Weiss in Los Angeles, California, to get the quality legal services you deserve.