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The Unionization Process: Minnesota

The Unionization Process requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Mark Mathison, Gray Plant Mooty


  • For most private sector employers in Minnesota, labor union organizing and labor relations generally is governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). See Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively.
  • Minnesota has a private sector labor relations statute, known as the Minnesota Labor Relations Act (MLRA), but the MLRA is broadly preempted by the NLRA, making it mostly inapplicable for nearly all private sector employment. See Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively.
  • Application of the MLRA is generally limited to very small employers that do not fall within the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board. See Minnesota Labor Relations Act.
  • Application of the unfair labor practices proscribed by MLRA, however, is much broader since they also apply to virtually all public sector employers, employees, and unions. See Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively.
  • Minnesota's Public Employment Labor Relations Act (MNPELRA) governs labor relations between most public employees and their employers. See Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act.
  • The grant of collective bargaining rights under MNPELRA extends to most public employees, including supervisors, professional employees and court employees. See Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act.
  • A separate statute, the Charitable Hospitals Act (CHA), governs "charitable hospitals" owned by a political subdivision of the state. See Charitable Hospitals Act.
  • Minnesota has a labor relations anti-injunction statute that protects employees' right to organize that is generally applicable only where the federal labor law does not reach, such as, primarily, in the public sector. See Minnesota Labor Disputes Injunction Act.