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How labor groups are helping the un-unionized workforce

We've all seen or heard at one time or another of a story in which a worker sues their former employer for violating employment laws. This has especially been the case with more and more people in low-wage jobs who are finally coming forward with complaints about employers paying them less than minimum wage.

Readers of our blog know this to be true because of multiple instances, but some people in the community may not know how some of these non-union workers are able to organize and win many of the settlements that have been won because of employment law lawsuits.

In most cases, workers sue their former employers after a group of employees gets together, all with the same grievance, and file a class action against their employer. But in some cases, labor groups can get involved, which often times point out violations to employees that they didn't even know they could file complaints about.

Wage and hour laws are usually the first to be pointed out because the standard of living continues to increase while little is show in terms of wage growth. Many low-income jobs, such as the largely non-union service industry, have benefitted from labor groups stepping in on their behalf to make sure that they are not only receiving the appropriate level of pay, but sometimes even getting them paid time-off and sick days from settlements.

As the numbers of union memberships dwindle in Indiana, the increased presence of labor groups is on the rise, helping workers protect their rights and receive fair treatment in the workplace. A fact many Indiana workers are happy to have happen in the New Year.

Source: Salon.com, "Will 'alt-labor' replace unions?" Josh Eidelson, Jan. 29, 2013

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