File a Claim for Unfair Labor Practices
In general, workers have the right to participate – or choose not to participate – in collective bargaining and union organization. A number of laws including the FLRA and NLRA protect employees in labor-management negotiations.
More broadly, “unfair labor practices” might also include failure to pay wages, failure to pay overtime, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, failure to allow for work breaks, etc., to name just a handful, but for our purposes here, we will consider unfair labor practices as concerns collective bargaining and union organization.
Labor Rights of Federal Employees
The Federal Service Labor-Management Statute (Title VII of the Civil Reform Act of 1978) sets forth agency unfair labor practices. Some examples of ULPs include:
- interfere with, restrain, or coerce any employee in the exercise by the employee of any right under this chapter;
- encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization by discrimination in connection with hiring, tenure, promotion, or other conditions of employment;
- sponsor, control, or otherwise assist any labor organization, other than to furnish, upon request, customary and routine services and facilities if the services and facilities are also furnished on an impartial basis to other labor organizations having equivalent status;
- discipline or otherwise discriminate against an employee because the employee has filed a complaint, affidavit, or petition, or has given any information or testimony under this chapter;
- refuse to consult or negotiate in good faith with a labor organization as required by this chapter;
- fail or refuse to cooperate in impasse procedures and impasse decisions as required by this chapter;
Federal employees have the right to file a claim with the Federal Labor Relations Authority when an agency engages in an unfair labor practice
Labor Rights of Private Sector Employees
The Federal Service Labor-Management Statute applies to federal employees, whereas the National Labor Relations Act applies to employees in the private sector.
Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act states (in part):
- “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all of such activities […]”
Like federal workers, private sector workers also have rights against ULPs, which include:
- Coercion in regard to an employee’s choice to participate (or not) in collective bargaining and union organization
- Interfering in an employee’s efforts to start or run a union or other labor organization
- Discriminating against existing employees (or against applicants) to thwart union activity
- Retaliating against the employee (harassment, demotion, job transfer, termination, etc.) for having filed a ULP claim
- Not bargaining in good faith
Contact Snider & Associates
If you’re facing an Unfair Labor Practice, whether in the federal workforce, in state or local government, or in the private sector, call or email the firm today. We will consult with you on your case and help you understand your options.