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Unions and Union Members

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Resources for Unions

McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP has represented union members, local unions, and international unions in traditional labor law and wage and hour disputes of all kinds. We have represented a wide variety of union members ranging from workers in the private sector to public sector, in large corporations to individual contractors, and in federal government to state government entities.

Our expertise and long-standing practice set us apart from other law firms and has allowed us to form many long-lasting relationships with nation-wide unions and their locals.

Union Members – Get to Know your Rights

In addition to our work representing union members in court, mediation and arbitration, we frequently visit union locals and union headquarters to educate members on their rights as workers in their specific industry under their unique circumstances. Our lawyers have dedicated their lives to the study and practice of labor law.

Every situation is unique in the way a collective bargaining agreement is written, in the state they work (and not in the state they live), and whether they work in the public or private sector. These presentations give union members a thorough understanding of their rights as workers so they can recognize a violation when they see it and have the knowledge and resources to remedy it before it becomes a large-scale lawsuit.

We are located in Washington D.C. and practice around the country to give these presentations. We are able to do these presentations in person or remotely in an easy to understand format.

Let’s work together to stop management from violating the law and your contracts. If you believe your union or local would benefit from a deeper understanding of the wage and hour rights specific to your union’s industry, location, member size and bargaining abilities, get in touch through the ‘Contact Us’ button below.


Want a greater general understanding of workers’ and union members’ rights to organize and pursue union support? Visit our Organize a Union page by clicking the link below


We have provided further resources below on union member rights and abilities. This information is intended as an introduction and overview of some of the rights related to unions and union members. It is not intended to replace the detailed, case-specific analysis of a lawyer nor does it constitute legal advice.

If there is anything you would like to know that is not available in our resource section, please feel free to contact us with your question. Someone will assist you in 24 hours.

Yes, we have been retained by many unions to enforce the right to Fair Labor Standards Act overtime pay for the employees they represent. These cases arise most often in two circumstances:

  1. There are certain work activities that employers refuse to count as work time especially pre-shift activities (e.g., picking up and putting on equipment, reviewing employer memos, etc.), travel time, and at-home work such as answering work-related calls.
  2. Employers fail to include certain premiums that unions negotiate in the rate at which overtime is paid. For example, unions will negotiate that workers who work at night are entitled to a shift premium or workers who do not use much sick leave will receive a bonus at the end of the year. The employer will fail to include these payments in the rate at which overtime is paid to the employees.

The FLSA provides a floor level of statutory rights and benefits. Once those are established, the employer can not attempt to negotiate them away; they are fixed. In addition, employees appreciate receiving additional compensation through a union sponsored lawsuit.

Legal Representation for All Workers

When McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP decides to take your case, it is because we believe there is an unacceptable workplace violation that has negatively impacted you or resulted in your employer paying less than what the law requires and which we have a reasonable chance of remedying. We recognize that meritorious claims should not go unremedied because of the level of a person’s resources.

To ensure accessible and available legal representation for all our clients, MSE handles cases through different forms of fee arrangements, including contingency fees, hourly fees and fixed fees.

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