Union Organization and Labor Relations
(Jump to state content for this section)
Author: Mark Goodwin, LeClairRyan
- To form a union, employees must file with the NLRB authorization cards from 30 percent or more of employees. Then, more than 50 percent of the employees voting in a secret ballot election must cast their ballots in favor of union representation. See Process of Forming a Union.
- Certain senior management and HR practices can help prevent unionization, including: a clear employer position opposing unions, regular senior management meetings with all employees, and HR/legal review of discipline and terminations. See Best Management and HR Practices to Remain Union-Free.
- Local supervisors can create a "family spirit" and prevent unionization with: employee identification with the employer, employee recognition, effective local employee communications, and careful management of local working conditions. See Best Employee Relations Practices for Local Supervisors.
- The best practices for exercising employer free speech and winning a union election campaign include: adherence to TIPS and prevention of tainted "laboratory conditions"; effective captive audience meetings with employees; and enforcement of nondiscriminatory solicitation and distribution policies, employer bulletin board policies, email policies and social networking policies. See Win a Campaign Against Unionization.
- Penalties for employer violations during a union election campaign include rerun elections and orders to bargain a contract with the union even if the union loses the election. See NLRB Penalties for Illegal Employer Actions During an Election Campaign.
- Currently, 24 states have Right to Work laws that make it more difficult for a union to organize in those states. See Right to Work Laws.
- The NLRA permits unionized employees to seek to decertify a union as their representative in certain circumstances. An employer may not instigate or assist employees with such efforts. See Union Decertifications.
- New rules governing the union representation election process become effective April 14, 2015. See Future Developments.
The following states have additional requirements for this topic under applicable state law.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia