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Maryland Unions: What you need to know

The right of workers in private employment to form unions and bargain collectively with their employers is guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and related federal laws. The NLRA is preemptive, meaning that it supersedes state law in the areas that it covers. However, in areas not covered by the NLRA, such as the rights of public employees and the rights of private employees who are not engaged in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own provisions.
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Like many states, Maryland has no comprehensive labor relations law of its own. The federal protections are the governing law of the state for private employees engaged in interstate commerce. There is more on these protections. The following is a discussion of certain provisions of Maryland law regarding the rights of employees not covered by the NLRA.
Another area that has been left to the states is the protection of a worker's right not to join a union. Many states have a so-called “right-to-work” law that prohibits compulsory union membership. Maryland is not among them. However, Maryland does have a law stating that an express, implied, oral, or written promise between an employer and a prospective employee is against public policy if it requires either party (MD Lab. and Empl. Code Sec. 4-304):
• To join/remain a member of an employer or labor organization
• Not to join/not to remain a member of an employer or labor organization
• To withdraw from an employment relationship if the party joins/remains a member
Employers who under a collective bargaining agreement deduct dues from an employee's pay for a union must make the payment within 30 days after it is required (MD Lab. ...

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