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The law protects employees in both the public and private sectors against discrimination or mistreatment based on membership in a labor union. We have a great deal of experience representing both workers and unions in disputes resulting from improper practices (public sector) and unfair labor practices (private sector).
In New York State, Article 14 of the Civil Service Law (the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, commonly referred to as the Taylor Law) sets forth a list of improper employer practices at § 209-a(1) that may be brought before the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). These improper practices include, among others, interfering with public employees’ or unions’ rights, discriminating against public employees for participating in a union, and refusing to negotiate in good faith.
In New York City, § 12-306(a) of the New York City Collective Bargaining Law relates a similar list, with slight variations, of improper practices that may be brought before the New York City Office of Collective Bargaining.
In the private sector, section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) also provides a similar list of unfair labor practices, though with more variation, that may be brought before the National Labor Relations Board.
Note that charges of improper practice or unfair labor practice are different from grievances. Improper practice and unfair labor practice charges seek to redress violations of the law, while grievances are usually limited to defined violations of a collective bargaining agreement. There are times, however, when an employer’s conduct may constitute both an improper practice and a grievance.
If you believe your employer is discriminating against you for being part of a union, or has acted in violation of these laws, you should contact your union. If your union is unable to assist you, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.