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What are my Rights Regarding Joining a Union?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2017 | Employment Law

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 is a landmark American law that protects private sector individuals’ right to organize and join labor unions for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Largely, unions are beneficial to American workers because they are often responsible for advances in workplace safety and wage fairness. Labor unions can be a controversial issue for many companies, industries, and even individuals. If you are asked to join a union or if others attempt to persuade you from joining one, know your rights about union involvement. These rights are protected by our country’s employment laws.

Oklahoma is one of the states that has a “right to work” law in place, which means that employees cannot be required to join labor unions or pay union dues. This does not mean you can be barred from joining a union – it simply means that if you do not want to join a union, your employer cannot require you to do so.

You Cannot Face Discrimination for Participating in a Union

Similarly, you cannot face discrimination in the workplace for your choice to join a labor union. This means you cannot be fired for joining a union, passed over for a position or promotion, or harassed in the workplace because you chose to join a union.

You have the Right to Picket and Engage in Other Union Protests

Union involvement, including nonviolent picketing, is a protected activity. This means that it is illegal for your employer to terminate you for engaging in this activity, given that you do not disturb other employees or the company’s productivity while engaging in it. Other protected activities include:

  • Starting a labor union;
  • Joining a labor union;
  • Providing testimony to support a colleague’s discrimination or retaliation claim; and
  • Discussing the unfair treatment you have faced in the workplace with your colleagues, industry regulators, upper management, or the media.

Work with an Experienced Tulsa Employment Lawyer

You always have the right to be in control of your career’s direction, whether that means becoming involved with a union or not. If you feel you have faced discrimination for your choices regarding union activity or you have felt pressure to join a union, speak with an experienced employment lawyer at Frasier, Frasier & Hickman LLP about your rights. Contact our firm today to schedule your consultation with us.


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