New York Unions laws & HR compliance analysis

New York 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 federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 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 not engaged in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own provisions.
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New York has adopted its own law to supplement the federal guarantees. The New York State Employment Relations Act (NY Labor Law Sec. 700et seq.) guarantees the right of employees to organize, bargain collectively, and strike. It specifically prohibits certain unfair labor practices by employers. The law does not cover individuals working for their parents or spouse, farm laborers, domestic workers, and workers employed only during a strike.
It is the public policy of New York to encourage collective bargaining and to protect employees in the exercise of freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining or mutual protection. It is also declared public policy that the prevention or prompt settlement of labor disputes is in the best interest of the people of New York.
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. New York is not among them. New York recognizes and will enforce union contracts calling for union shops ...

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