New Jersey Unions laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Unions: What you need to know

New Jersey does not have a comprehensive labor relations law. Most of the protections given to labor organizations in New Jersey and elsewhere 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. But 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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New Jersey has a constitutional provision guaranteeing employees in the private sector the right to organize and bargain collectively (NJ Const. Art. I Sec. 19). Public employees have a right under this provision to organize and bring their grievances and proposals to their employers through representatives of their own choosing. As interpreted by the state courts, this provision effectively extends to workers not covered by the federal law protections that are roughly equivalent to those provided under the NLRA.
Under the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, public sector employees have the right to organize and bargain collectively, but they do not have the legal right to strike (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 34:13A-1et seq.; Board of Educ., Union Beach v. New Jersey Educ. Ass’n, 247 A.2d 867 (1968)).
Police officers and firefighters. Fire department and police employees may be required to submit labor disputes to a mediator or arbitrator for resolution (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 34:13A-14aet seq.).
School employees. School employees may be required to submit labor disputes to a fact finder, mediator, or a super conciliator for resolution (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. ...

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