Oklahoma Unions laws & HR compliance analysis

Oklahoma 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 it supersedes state law in the areas it covers. However, in areas not covered by the NLRA, such as the rights of public employees and the rights of private employees who are not engaged in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own provisions.
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Although Oklahoma has never had a specific statute protecting workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively, the state courts have long recognized these rights. Thus, under state law, protections comparable to those provided under federal law are available to employees who might not otherwise be covered. The federal protections are the governing law of the state for private employees engaged in interstate commerce.
Oklahoma law grants police officers, firefighters, and school employees the right to unionize and bargain collectively. However, the law does not extend them the right to strike, and it requires disputes between public workers and their employers to be submitted to mediation or arbitration for resolution (OK Stat. Tit. 11 Sec. 51-101et seq.; OK Stat. Tit. 70 Sec. 509.1et seq.).
Another area that has been left to the states is the protection of a worker's right not to join a union. Some states have laws, commonly known as “right-to-work” laws, that protect this right. Oklahoma is one of these states. The law makes it illegal to require as a condition of employment that an employee is a member or nonmember of a labor organization. It is also unlawful to deduct any union fees, dues, ...

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