Public Sector Labor Relations



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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.

State Requirements

The following states have additional requirements for this topic under applicable state law.