A federal law known as the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees workers in the private sector the right to form a union and collectively bargain. Collective bargaining simply means employees, through their representatives, negotiating as a group with an employer regarding their wages and other conditions of work.
Employee representatives are usually unions organized by types of employment, and each union represents its members in negotiations with an employer involving a range of issues, such as wages, hours worked, grievances and other terms and conditions.
The NLRA law is pre-emptive, which means it is more overrides any state law covering the same area as it does. However, states are free to make their own laws in areas not covered by the NLRA. Some of these areas include public sector employees’ rights and private employees not involved in interstate commerce.
New York Law on Unions and Collective Bargaining
Consistent with federal law covering employer and employee labor relations, the state of New York has laws which supplement NLRA. These laws are collectively known as the New York State Employment Relations Act (NYSERA). These statutes guarantee employees the right to organize, belong to a union, to collectively bargain, and to strike. The law also prohibits employers from engaging in unfair labor practices.
The Taylor Law and Collective Bargaining
The Public Employees Fair Employment Act, otherwise more commonly referred to as the “Taylor Law,” is a section of New York Civil Law which defines the rights and limitations of unions for public employees in New York. The Taylor Law establishes a Board that acts like a court to resolve contract disputes between public employees and their employers as well as rulings on work stoppages, strikes, and consequences intended to deter employees from engaging in these activities.
Employer and Employee Rights
Collective bargaining should be a process where both employer and employee get what is fair and reasonable for their respective positions, without disadvantaging the other. While it is the public policy of New York to encourage collective bargaining and the employees’ right to belong to any association they choose, it is also the law that an employer’s business should not be impeded or defeated by the pursuit or exercise of those rights. Unions must therefore not only zealously represent their members, they must do so consistent with New York laws that protect the rights of employers.
NYC Lawyer for Labor Unions
At JOEY JACKSON LAW, PLLC, we have experience in handling all issues related to collective bargaining. We work hard to ensure strength and longevity of the unions while making sure the individual employee gets the bulk of the benefits from collective bargaining. For resolution of your issues or advice on the best way forward, contact an experienced New York labor and employment law attorney at 1-833-JOEYJACKSON or 1-833-563-9522. We represent unions, guilds, and trade organizations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties.