MEA members have access to full range of legal services

Legal Resources

Since 1852, when 20 teachers came together in Ypsilanti to form what would eventually become the MEA, public school employees have joined together to win and protect basic rights that help ensure they are treated with the fairness, respect and dignity they’ve earned.

It’s amazing how far teachers, education support professionals and higher-education employees have come. Just until the middle of the 20th century, teachers could be fired for getting married. Until 1965, public school employees didn’t have the right to organize into local bargaining units to negotiate wages, benefits and other working conditions.

Because school employees have gained so much since 1852 — and because opponents of public education would like to bring us back to 1852 — MEA provides members with numerous advantages to protect their rights, including legal services.

MEA employs several full-time attorneys and also retains prestigious law firms to help protect members’ legal rights in matters arising out of their education employment. MEA’s legal work helps members and local affiliates in the following areas:

·         Wage and hour laws

·         Unfair labor practices

·         Layoff and recall

·         Retirement

·         Fringe benefits

·         Unemployment compensation

·         Education funding

·         Negotiations

·         Discrimination

·         Health and safety

·         Civil rights

·         Contract enforcement

In addition, MEA provides members with up to $2,500 to reimburse their attorney fees for traffic charges and offenses, provided that driving a motor vehicle is a job requirement and the charges occurred during the course of work and are dismissed or withdrawn; along with a million dollars of work-related liability insurance.

MEA does not provide representation for criminal matters. However, MEA will provide members with up to $1,000 reimbursement to cover attorney fees for obtaining legal advice regarding possible criminal charges arising out of employment-related activities.

Furthermore, MEA does not provide legal representation or work-related liability insurance to bargaining unit members who opt out of MEA membership, except when it’s expressly required by state or federal law.

Click here to read MEA’s legal representation policy.

Members should contact their MEA UniServ director to find out more about MEA’s legal services or to receive direction regarding potential legal proceedings.