wrongfull termination / union misrepresentation

one year ago i was working as a route driver for a baking co. and was a substitute for another route driver. I serviced a store that has a manager who has a reputation for be degrading and extremely rude towards vendors. Needless to say i experienced his "personality". He swore at me degraded me and i left the store came back to our depot to find my supervisor on the phone with this manager, after ended the phone conversation, he then said to me, "you dont even have to explain your side of it, we know how he is and you are not the only one he has done that to, he does it to everyone". The matter was then closed. He then said to me (the supervisor), that manager of that store says you are banned and he does not want you in his store again, so we just wont have you do that route. I was not terminated and no disciplinary action was taken against me whatsoever, not even verbal reprimanding. This incident occured on a monday so i helped out other guys during the rest of that week. I also felt that the way the company handled the abuse issue suffered by myself and other route drivers from that manager was not justified. I then contacted via email the stores corporate offices to have something done as this store was a chain store. One week later the district manager of that store called me and we discussed the whole matter, within three hours of that conversation i was suspended pending investigation. The suspension lasted for another week and a 1/2 and led up to termination. My union rep stated that it was wrongfull termination and i stated to him that the only reason that i was fired was because i contacted the stores corporate office. Following all this arbitration proceedings took place. It has been one year and my hearing was set for april 30th of 2002. within this year i represented myself and presented my case to an official unemployment hearing judge, being the company fought my unemployment. the determination of that was a four page documentation not only siding with me 110% but slamming the baking co. for what they did. It clearly states that i was not fired for any other reason but the fact that i called the stores corporate offices. Now with my hearing set, my union rep called me 2 weeks before and stated the baking company wants to settle, i said go negotiate and let me know what they offer. Now mind you this is backpay for the last year, one week vacation and also 7 holidays. My union rep called me two days after and stated they are offering 5000,00 dollars of which i have to pay taxes on. i found this to be extemely low and insulting. i refused the offer and the union rep called me back the next day stating this.."the offer still stands and if i do not take it the union will cease to represent me". He stated the baking co. is saying i was terminated for being banned, clearly if that was the case i would not have been terminated three weeks after the incident and in between discipline action was taken only when the baking co. found out i contacted the stores corporate office. two days later i received in the mail, documention stating the "take the settlement or else" offer from my union rep.. I have a very proven and strong case which has already shown validity and proof within the state of wisconsin unemployment hearing before a judge. With all this said , i am looking to not only file a lawsuit against the baking co. for wrongfull termination but also a suit against the union for misrepresentation.

1 answer  |  asked Apr 28, 2002 05:24 AM [EST]  |  applies to Wisconsin

Answers (1)

Michael Katarincic
Wrongful termination

Wrongful termination actions must be based upon some violation of public policy as evidenced by a violation of statute or other law. The evidence you submitted does not allege that your employer violated any law when it terminated you. The Union has a duty to investigate grievances but no duty to prosecute them. Your union's duty is very minimal, and under the circumstances that you allege it probably met its duty to you. You are encouraged to discuss your termination with another attorney, as this note only represents my understanding of your questions.

posted by Michael Katarincic  |  Apr 29, 2002 2:25 PM [EST]

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