Ohio Unions: What you need to know

Ohio does not have a comprehensive labor relations law. Most of the protections given to labor organizations, in Ohio and other states, are contained in the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA is “preemptive”; in other words, it overrides state law in the areas that it covers. However, in the areas not covered by the NLRA (such as public employees' rights and the rights of employees of businesses that do not engage in interstate commerce) the states are free to make their own provisions.
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To the extent not preempted by the NLRA, the following state law requirements affect both public employees and private employees. For private employees in businesses engaged in interstate commerce, the NLRA applies and preempts many of these provisions.
Employment contracts that require the employee to promise not to join a labor union (so-called “yellow dog contracts”) are void and against public policy in Ohio (OH Rev. Code Sec. 4113.02).
Right to work. Under federal law, states are permitted to protect a worker's right not to join a union. Many have so-called “right-to-work” laws that prohibit compulsory union membership. Ohio has a right-to-work law that is applicable solely to railroad employees (OH Rev. Code Sec. 4973.03). In all other forms of private employment, Ohio recognizes and will enforce union contracts calling for union shops (in which new hires must join the union within some specified period of time) and similar union security agreements.
Under Ohio law, public employees are entitled to join or not join an employee organization of their own choosing and to bargain collectively with employers to determine ...

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