Architectural Columns

Tag Archives: #SyracuseNY

Meet Margaret!

Meet our Spring 2024 intern, Margaret Grinnell, who is a part of Professor Grant Reeher’s Political Science Internship course at Syracuse University. Margaret is in her final semester at Syracuse, studying International Relations, and is drawn to areas of civil law.

Margaret has had the opportunity to volunteer for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society in her hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. In this role, she completed paralegal work in the family law division, helping to support attorneys provide free legal assistance to low-income clients. At Syracuse, she completed a research assistantship with the Muslim Family Law Index Project, assessing legal reform in fifty-three countries. Through these experiences, Margaret gained a passion for legal accessibility and research.

At Satter Ruhlen Law Firm, Margaret is learning about the continuing evolution of labor law legislation, and is developing an interest in advocating for employee rights. She has observed depositions, interacted with clients, and participated in discussions of case law. Different from her previous experiences, at Satter Ruhlen, Margaret has gained a new perspective in the legal field, researching and learning about how employees and unions are protected under the law.

Margaret says her experience at Satter Ruhlen has given her clarity and confidence in her plans to move forward with a career in law. She notes, “Observing the diverse caseload at the firm has allowed me to understand different legal procedures which has enriched my legal understanding.”

We’ve certainly enjoyed having Margaret with us this semester, and we’re excited to watch her pursue a legal career!

 

 

Speaking Up On Behalf Of Your Coworkers

 

Your employer probably does not welcome your advocating for your colleagues. Whether your advocacy is protected or not depends on what you are discussing, how you say it, and how many other employees it involves.

This is an area of law that flip-flops every few years, so make sure you speak to a reputable workplace attorney!!!

A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board has expanded the protections for your workplace discussions. It’s complicated, but you may have the right to talk with other employees or the boss about things like workplace safety, your wages, the schedule, or other terms and conditions of employment for the purposes of “mutual aid and protection.” “Mutual aid and protection” is one of those legal phrases that has a special meaning, so you’ll definitely need to speak with a lawyer to know whether a particular comment is protected. Generally speaking, if your comment to coworkers is intended to initiate or prepare for group action, or to bring group complaints to management’s attention, it may be protected.

Discussions that only involve your individual circumstances are not protected.  And not every remark made in a group setting is protected. And even if your remark turns out to be protected, it may take months or years of litigation to ascertain that it was protected – during which time you are probably going to be looking for a job.

That said, Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives many private-sector workers a federally-protected right to engage in protected concerted activity for the purposes of mutual aid and protection, and they don’t have to be in a union to exercise that right.

If your boss is on your case for a remark you made about a concern shared by your coworkers, talk to a workers’ rights attorney. It may turn out you have some protection.

 

 

217 S. Salina St., 6th Fl.,
Syracuse, NY 13202

T: 315-471-0405
F: 315-471-7849

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. This site is published for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  This site neither creates nor implies an attorney-client relationship.

Find us on Mastodon: @WorkplaceLawyer@union.place