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Connecticut Employee Associations: What you need to know

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (29 USC 1501 et seq.) as amended, employers are not permitted to interfere with or dominate any association or group of employees that performs any of the functions governed by that Act. These functions include bargaining collectively as to hours, wages, and working conditions, or acting as a channel for the presentation of grievances on these matters.
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Any organization, association, or employee representation committee that exists for the purpose “in whole or part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances” is deemed to be a “labor organization.” Labor organizations with 25 or more members must file an annual report with the Labor Commissioner (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-77).
Employers must be cautious in the formation of committees whose purpose is to involve rank-and-file workers in management decisions. Often called “shared-governance,” “quality-of-worklife,” or “action” committees, groups of this kind run the risk of being branded illegal labor organizations. Years ago, a favorite tactic of employers seeking to keep unions out was to set up a “company union” that the employer dominated, controlled, and operated for its own benefit; however, the passage of NLRA in 1935 made it illegal for employers to dominate or support labor organizations. The Act guarantees that workers may choose their own representatives, set their own union agendas, and operate without management interference.
Now this issue is reemerging as employers show interest in shared-governance programs or workplace committees to deal with work-related policies and issues. However, if the program or committee is composed of labor ...

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