Kansas Unions laws & HR compliance analysis

Kansas 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 overrides state law in any area it covers. However, in areas not covered by the NLRA, such as the organizing rights of public employees, agricultural employees, and private employees in businesses not engaged in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own provisions. A detailed discussion of interstate commerce is available.
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The Kansas Labor Relations Act supplements the federal protections. In most major respects, the state law mirrors the NLRA, guaranteeing the right of private sector employees to organize, bargain collectively, and strike. It specifically prohibits unfair labor practices by employers—and by unions. It prohibits unions from discriminating in their membership based on age, race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, and ancestry. These and many other provisions are all contained in the federal NLRA. However, there are important areas left to the states (KS Stat. Sec. 44-801 et seq.).
The Kansas Legislature recognized that many practices, by both management and labor, slowed the negotiation process. To expedite the process, the legislature made some practices illegal. The following list includes several, but not all, prohibited practices.
For employers, it is an unfair labor practice to:
• Interfere, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights under the labor laws, except that employers may not be deprived of their “free speech” rights guaranteed under the federal and state constitutions.
• Dominate or interfere with ...

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