Resolving labor disputes

Feb, 01 2020

At any time, in any country, in any company, a conflict between an employee and an employer may arise, and the reasons for that are rather different. In this situation, both sides seek to protect their own interests using any available legal means. As a rule, the violations of the laws and regulations by one side, misunderstanding of the situation, or some communication errors are the most common causes of conflicts. But in any case, whatever the reasons are, the search for a solution always means the work of specialized lawyers. These specialists can consult both parties and try to find such a solution to the conflict that eliminates the need to bring it to court, but if in case a dispute is being considered before court, lawyers represent their interests there.

Possible situations when the participation of specialized lawyers is needed

So, as we have already mentioned, lawyers specializing in labor disputes should be well-versed in labor legislation specifics. A conflict arises due to the violation of labor rules or the non-fulfillment of certain obligations. All these situations can be considered as one of the following types:

  • Economic issues;
  • Social issues;
  • Legal issues.

Sometimes it happens that there are several reasons for the conflict at once, and at the same time, and in this case, the help of a lawyer is needed even more to fix this complex problem. Besides, conflict situations can be:

  • Individual – concerning only one employee and a company administration;
  • Collective – when the interests of the entire staff are affected, or the interests of its significant part.

Besides, conflicts differ in their subject matter and the types of violations of rules and regulations.

Resolving labor dispute 

So, when a conflict situation appears, it must be resolved. And there are two ways for this: to solve the problem in a court and to solve it by conducting negotiations. The second method is simpler, faster, cheaper, and preferable for everyone, but it has a significant drawback because it does not guarantee the result for both sides. With such an approach, the dispute is resolved during negotiations between the parties; sometimes, a special commission is involved for this. However, one must understand that if the parties cannot come to an agreement during direct negotiations, the only way is to resolve a conflict in court.

If direct negotiations have not resulted, one of the parties (an employee or an employer) files a lawsuit. There are the following time limits for an employee to file a claim:

  • not later than three months after the violation was revealed,
  • not later than a month after dismissing.

As for employers, the time limit for filing a claim is one year from the date of violation of their rights.

In any case, before addressing a court, you need some legal advice. The specialized lawyer will help you to draw up a claim correctly, collect all the necessary documents/evidence of the violation of rights, and represent an employee/employer in a court. Without the help of a qualified lawyer, any party has week chances for success.

Dispute Resolution Procedure

According to the Russian legislation, particularly the Labor Code, Article 381-388, there is a specific procedure for resolving labor disputes. Besides, the process of resolving disputes is based on federal laws governing the relationship between an employer and an employee.

Individual labor conflict

An individual labor conflict refers to violations of labor laws and/or an employment contract, while the parties to the conflict are in an employment relationship, or the injured party expresses a desire to enter into such a relationship.

The solution to such situations is the authority of specialized commissions and courts. As for a specialized commission, it is formed at the request of one of the parties and includes the members of the labor union organization, individual entrepreneurs, and/or companies, and such a commission should have people representing the interests of both parties (employee (s) and employer), and the number of participants on both sides must be the same. According to the current legislation, the parties have ten days to gather their own representatives to work in the labor dispute resolution commission. In this case, representatives of the employer are appointed by the company management and the representatives of the employee – by the general employees` meeting. Besides, it should be noted that the employees can collect commission members from among the employees of the company itself, the party to the conflict. In order for this commission to work as it should and to analyze the conflict situation in detail, an employer provides premises for its work and access to documents/premises, etc. The members of the commission themselves elect the chairman and the secretary. 

Thus, according to the Labor Code, the following procedure for resolving disputes, in this case, is provided:

  • An employee/employer registers and submits an application;
  • A commission considers the application while an applicant is present at the meeting, within ten days from the date of document submission;
  • If, for some reason, an applicant does not appear at the commission meeting, it is postponed. In this case, if an applicant does not come to the second meeting (except for cases of objective impossibility), the dispute consideration is canceled;
  • In order to ensure an objective consideration of the dispute, a commission may involve witnesses, and the employer must, upon its request, submit all the necessary documents for consideration;
  • The representatives of both parties must be present in equal proportions at every commission meeting;
  • The secretary keeps the minutes of the commission meetings; it is signed by the chairman of the commission and the deputy.

Any decision of the commission can be appealed if one of the parties does not agree with its decision, and there are ten days for this. At the same time, if parties do not appeal against a commission’s decision, according to the law, there are three days for its execution. If an employer ignores a commission’s decision and does not fulfill its requirements, an employee can contact the bailiff service, providing them with the appropriate document. 

According to the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, each of the parties has ten days to appeal the decision of a commission in court. The case can still be taken to court if a commission has not considered the employee’s application within ten days, as is stated by law.

One of the common causes of labor conflicts is when an employee is dismissed or transferred to another (worse) position. Often, employees consider such actions as illegal. In this case, if the commission satisfied the employee’s requirements, an employer pays the average wage that was not received after the forced firing or the difference in wages if an employee was unjustifiably transferred to a less paid position.

In case if, as a result of consideration in court, it was found out that the dismissal was illegal, but an employee position is not given back, it is necessary to change the wording of the dismissal, the date of the corresponding court decision is indicated in an employee’s court decision. An employee is considered dismissed from that date. If an employee wants to recover compensation for moral damage as a result of an unlawful decision by an employer, there is such an opportunity.

VALEN offers its legal services

Our legal company’s specialists will help and advise you both in pre-trial decisions and in court or when considering a dispute in a specialized commission. Here is a list of our services:

  • Consultations on the current situation and ways to resolve it;
  • Analysis of documents and their legal assessment;
  • Forecast for the outcome of the situation and possible risks;
  • Help in choosing the right approach;
  • Participation in meetings of the commission/court;
  • Help with the appeal process.

Our lawyers will help you to resolve any labor conflict, protect your interests and choose the best way to achieve the desired result, depending on your situation specifics. You can receive more detailed information and initial consultation by phone +7 (495) 7-888-096 or meeting in person in our office.

Author of the article

Resolving labor disputes
Ignat Shevchenko
Lawyer

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