New Hampshire Unions: What you need to know

The state has little say in the regulation of private labor unions. This is because most of the protections given to labor organizations are contained in the federal National Labor Relations Act. This law is “preemptive,” which means that it overrides state law in the areas that it covers, including almost all types of private employment. But, in the areas it does not cover, such as the rights of public employees, farm workers, and employees of businesses that do not engage in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own provisions. Although New Hampshire has not adopted a comprehensive labor law that regulates the unionization of employees, the state has several laws governing public employees, strikes, and picketing.
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The federal labor law leaves to the states all questions involving the unionization of public employees. The New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Act gives public employees the right to organize and bargain collectively (NH Stat. Sec. 273-A:1et seq.). The law prohibits certain activities by both employers and employee representatives as unfair labor practices. Notably, public employees are prohibited from striking or engaging in a sick-out (NH Stat. Sec. 273-A:13;Manchester v. Manchester Firefighters Ass'n, 413 A.2d 577 (NH 1980)). The Public Employees Labor Relations Board has jurisdiction over labor disputes between public employees and their employers (NH Stat. Sec. 273-A:1 et seq.).
The following are prohibited practices for public employers:
• To restrain or interfere with employees in the exercise of their labor rights
• To dominate or interfere in the formation or administration of any employee organization
• To ...

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