Review and resolution of individual labor disputes

Jan, 16 2024


There are often employer-employee conflicts. They may relate to various issues: rights violation, non-payment of the required payment, damaging event, etc. Such disagreements are called individual labor disputes. They differ from collective ones as they involve only one person, not the staff. 

As a rule, misunderstandings arise between the employer and their former employees. The case when employer refused to hire an applicant without any explanation or because of discrimination on some basis is also considered to be a usual thing.

What legal acts are based on review and resolution of individual labor disputes:

  • Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation. 
  • Labor Code of the Russian Federation.
  • Federal laws and regulations related to the relevant law section.

Who deals with the individual labor disputes resolution?

Most individual labor disputes can be solved without legal recourse. Most often you resort to Labor Dispute Commission. At times, labor disputes can also be reviewed in courts, such cases are listed in the legislation of the Russian Federation.

The Labor Dispute Commission must include an equal number of representatives of both parties: both the employee (for example, trade union members) and the employer. If the employer receives a request for a Labor Dispute Commission creation, he/she cannot ignore it but is obliged to send his/her representatives within 10 days (by the law).

The Labor Dispute Commission members on the employer part are appointed by the head of organization. Employee representatives are elected at a general meeting. They can also be delegated by a representative body, such as a trade union, and then approved at a general meeting.

A labor dispute commission must have:

  • its own seal.
  • a President-elect, his/her deputy chairman and secretary.

An employee can apply to the Labor Dispute Commission no later than three months after he/she learned about their rights violation. If he/she could not apply on time for a good reason or circumstances beyond his/her control, the Labor Dispute Commission can resolve the conflict even after a longer period.

Individual labor disputes review and resolution procedure

If an employee has complaints, they must submit an application to the Labor Dispute Commission. The document must be registered. The Labor Dispute Commission examines it within ten days. During this time, it is also decided whether to call witnesses or specialists. In addition, the Labor Dispute Commission may require the employee to provide any other documents contributing to the conflict resolution.

NB: all decisions are made only at a general meeting. For it to take place, at least half of the members from both the employer and the employee must be present. The minutes is mandatory during the meeting. Next, the document must be signed by the President-elect or his/her deputy chairman and sealed.

The decision-making procedure is regulated by Article 388 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation and carried out due to secret ballot. It is necessary that the majority of those present vote for the decision. The document indicates the employer-employee information, as well as the data of the Labor Dispute Commission members. The date of the Labor Dispute Commission appeal, the dispute subject, the voting results and the approved decision are also recorded there.

Next, the Labor Dispute Commission must serve copies of the decision to the employee and the employer. This must be done within three days after the decision. All documents must be signed and sealed.

Can one appeal the Labor Dispute Commission decision? 

This can be done within 10 days from the date the parties received the results of the issue review. The appeal may be postponed for the required period if this cannot be done in the allotted time due to objective circumstances. 

Resolution of individual labor disputes in court

If the Labor Dispute Commission has not considered the appeal on time, you can redirect the dispute to the court. You should resort to this instance also if neither of the parties agrees with the decision of the Labor Dispute Commission. An employee can apply directly to court, in some cases bypassing other instances. This can also be fulfilled by the prosecutor if the formed Labor Dispute Commission does not comply with any legal requirements.

Who can apply to the court:

  • An employee;
  • An employee representative (trade union that protects his/her interests);
  • An employer.

The employer applies directly to the court for damages. If their former employee is caught stealing or causing other damage, the employer is entitled to receive compensation from other side / pecuniary compensation or reparation of damages from other side.

Employees on their side have a right to demand to reinstatement in office without regard to their dismissal reasons. Through the court, you can receive payment for forced absenteeism, as well as compensation for illegal actions of the employer.

In addition, the court considers complaints of those who were refused employment without clarification or on some discrimination basis.

Review and resolution of individual labor disputes for various reasons is carried out in their allotted time. Thus, an employee who finds out his/her rights are being violated can apply to the court within 3 months from the moment he/she became aware of the violation. In this case, the individual labor disputes on dismissal must be initiated within a month after the dismissal order receipt.

A dispute about non-payment or incomplete payment of salaries or other payments can be initiated within a year from the employee payment due date. 

If the employee has caused any damage to the employer, they have a right to initiate individual labor disputes also within one calendar year from that moment.

Author of the article
Review and resolution of individual labor disputes
Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner
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