Public Sector Labor Relations: Federal

Public Sector Labor Relations requirements by state

Authors: James Anelli, Robert Pettigrew, LeClairRyan


  • Public sector labor relations is governed federal and state law. See Public Sector Unions.
  • The laws that govern federal employees are generally found in the Civil Service Relations Act of 1978, also known as the Federal Service Labor Management Statute, +5 U.S.C. Section 7101 et. seq.
  • The laws that govern state and municipal employees vary from state-to-state.
  • Most states have passed various laws to formalize the bargaining process for some or all public employees. While a few states still prohibit public sector collective bargaining, and some permit only "meeting and conferring" on work-related issues, the overwhelming majority of states permit public sector unions and collective bargaining between the parties. See Scope of Negotiable Issues.
  • There are significant differences between the rights and administration of public sector and private sector unions. See Public Sector vs. Private Sector Unions.