The FEA legal services detailed below are available to members only. Not a member? Join your local union
(Please note: To access legal services you must be a member on the date of the incident that you are accused of. You cannot join after-the-fact to access legal services for that incident.)
FEA Legal Services
Martin Powell, General Counsel
213 South Adams Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 224-7818
Fax: (850) 224-0447
Phone: (407) 893-3373
FEA’s Legal Services Program protects the employment rights of members with both emergency and long-term legal services, including:
Unified Legal Services Program (ULSP)
The ULSP is a legal defense program jointly sponsored by NEA, AFT and FEA. The program is designed to provide members and local affiliates appropriate legal assistance in employment-related legal proceedings. Any member who requires disciplinary or educator-certification defense from a union attorney receives representation through this program.
FEA employs in-house and retained attorneys with extensive experience in employment-related legal matters affecting Florida teachers, education staff professionals and higher education employees. These attorneys represent members in matters such as:
- Certification Disputes
- Disciplinary Actions
- FLSA, ADA and FMLA Issues
- Civil Defense
- Criminal Defense
- Unfair Labor Practices
- Retirement Disputes
- Collective Bargaining Issues
- Discrimination Disputes
Educators Employment Liability (EEL) Program
In your work as an educator you are frequently exposed to situations that may give rise to legal actions which can involve your personal liability. The EEL Program is a program that protects FEA members from liability for incidents arising out of their employment.
Individuals are automatically covered by the EEL Program as a benefit of membership in the association. The program provides coverage for situations that result in damages to someone other than the member, such as students.
Attorney Referral Program (ARP)
The Attorney Referral Program (ARP) assists Florida Education Association (FEA) members in obtaining personal legal services at a reduced cost statewide. This benefit is for legal services which are not already free and included with your union membership, such as legal will, real estate transactions and marriage or divorce matters.
Members are entitled to free consultations with an ARP attorney. If a member decides to retain a program attorney for personal legal services beyond the initial consultation, the member is entitled to a 30% discount for legal work done in five “core areas”.
- Real Estate
- Wills and Estates
- Domestic Relations
- Consumer Protection
- Traffic Violations
FEA is also affiliated with Union Plus, a non-profit consumer benefits organization created and endorsed by the AFL-CIO. If an FEA member, you are eligible to access a nationwide cadre of attorneys for personal legal matters.
Association Professional Liability (APL) Program
The APL Program protects union members and staff for any actual or alleged personal injury, breach of duty, neglect, error, misstatement, act or omission that occurs during the course of “authorized association activities”. This covers members who serve as representatives or perform duties on behalf of their local union. “Authorized association activities” are those approved by the FEA for the purpose of carrying out the objectives of the associations governing documents.
Coverage under the policy is $750,000 per occurrence for the payment of damages. Attorneys’ fees and other defense expenses are paid directly by FEA and NEA. All APL insurance claims should be directed to the Office of Legal Services.
Union Fidelity Bonds
The NEA and AFT Fidelity Bonds protect FEA and local affiliates from loss of association funds sustained through the mishandling of these funds by association officers and/or staff. Coverage under this program is entirely different from the APL program which protects the association, its staff and officers from financial loss when a lawsuit arises out of authorized association activity.