NLRA and Right to Work States

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Ashiwi
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NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Ashiwi » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:27 am

I've been digging for info on how the Right to Work status of a state, Oklahoma in particular, impacts certain protected rights offered by the NLRA. I've learned a lot, but I'm still missing a bit of key information.

The NLRA protects the rights of employees to engage in certain activities like the discussion of pay, but does being in a Right to Work state alter the protections of those rights? And if the employer is a multi-state corporation, how does that impact the employees in Right to Work states if the headquarters of the corporation is in a union state, such as Illinois?

Anybody familiar with this?
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Teflor Lyorian
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:14 am

I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that wage discussions are federally protected so long as it is a part of a potential unionization. Oklahoma appears allow employers to terminate at will - meaning they can let you go for whatever reason, even if that's reason is 'because we want to.'

Now, if your employer is dumb enough to fire you with cause, then state a reason that is federally protected, you can really stick it to them.

However, you do have to be careful about such things. Even if you don't get fired, you may find your position relocated to Alaska. Or your status changed from full time to part time...

Or you may get moved to the basement.
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Ragorn
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:57 pm

Virginia is a Right to Work state, so I'm pretty familiar with the terms. Teflor is partially correct... employers can't terminate you for "any" reason, but they can terminate you for NO reason. If you look crosseyed at your boss, he can fire you on the spot with no explanation given. However, if the company does give you a reason for termination, it must be supportable. You can't be fired for being a woman, for example, and if you're fired for "performance" then they need to be able to support that claim. For that reason, most employers in RTW states simply decline to give a reason when issuing terminations. It's much easier to defend a termination without cause than a termination with cause.

If you believe you were fired for a reason that is protected under federal law, you can bring suit against the employer, but it's very challenging to do so. Essentially, if you don't have a hard copy of an email your boss sent that says "I hate women, Kelly does great work but please terminate her because she is a woman," then you're in for a tough fight. Proving discrimination or unlawful termination is incredibly hard.

On the plus side, you can quit without giving two weeks notice. That's about all the "protection" that individuals get under Right to Work... it's not a platform designed to empower the worker, it's a business-friendly policy.
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kiryan
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:29 pm

Also not a lawyer.

I'm pretty sure that it doesn't matter where the headquarters is at, what matters is what state you work in. A business must have a license to work in a state and must follow that state's laws. If you were hired in one state and are physically on site in another, I suspect you'd be covered under laws in both states.

Right to work states, I believe, also protect you from having to join a union in order to work. For example, not being able to do residential electrical as an independent business without being a union member (still have to be certified of course).

As ragorn said, right to work is a set of rules that are meant to be beneficial to business.
Teflor Lyorian
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:02 pm

Ragorn wrote:Virginia is a Right to Work state, so I'm pretty familiar with the terms. Teflor is partially correct... employers can't terminate you for "any" reason, but they can terminate you for NO reason. If you look crosseyed at your boss, he can fire you on the spot with no explanation given. However, if the company does give you a reason for termination, it must be supportable. You can't be fired for being a woman, for example, and if you're fired for "performance" then they need to be able to support that claim. For that reason, most employers in RTW states simply decline to give a reason when issuing terminations. It's much easier to defend a termination without cause than a termination with cause.

If you believe you were fired for a reason that is protected under federal law, you can bring suit against the employer, but it's very challenging to do so. Essentially, if you don't have a hard copy of an email your boss sent that says "I hate women, Kelly does great work but please terminate her because she is a woman," then you're in for a tough fight. Proving discrimination or unlawful termination is incredibly hard.

On the plus side, you can quit without giving two weeks notice. That's about all the "protection" that individuals get under Right to Work... it's not a platform designed to empower the worker, it's a business-friendly policy.

Partially correct. It also allows the worker to enter into employment without being forced to join a union or pay dues to one.
"You see, the devil haunts a hungry man.
If you don’t wanna join him, you got to beat him."
- Kris Kristofferson (To Beat the Devil)
Ragorn
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:13 pm

True, you aren't forced to join a union. When I worked at AT&T, I was a member of CWA. Union membership was not mandatory, and any settlement that AT&T reached with its workforce would still apply to you. However, the union would not entertain your plight if you were mistreated.

I was actually engaged in a union dispute during my time at AT&T. My boss at the time circumvented the negotiated system for disciplining employees, and handed me a Final Warning of Termination one day. I was a union member, so I mentioned this to my union rep, and they held a meeting with my boss. She claimed that I had abandoned my job one morning when I drove down the street to pick up my team's breakfast order at Cracker Barrel... despite the fact that she gave me permission to go, and hers was one of the orders that I was picking up. Not sure what her deal was, but the union got involved and within a week I was reassigned to another department within the company and another manager. No problems after that.

/cool story, bro
- Ragorn
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Teflor Lyorian
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:15 pm

Eh, I found your story entertaining. Some people (who don't work) don't really understand that half of bosses are below average.
"You see, the devil haunts a hungry man.
If you don’t wanna join him, you got to beat him."
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kiryan
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:36 pm

There will always be stories of how unions helped and advocated... but there are also stories of where they obstructed the termination of an employee who should be terminated.

Just because the union saved you here... doesn't mean you were screwed without it... one would hope that you could go to HR and achieve the same result. Or if that fails, that you could sue for wrongful termination.

and yes it would be "unfair" if this happened in a right to work state where she didn't give you a reason and just said you don't work here anymore... and you basically ended up with no legal recourse. however, why shouldn't the business be able to decide whether or not you remain employed by them? Why do you have a right to the job you had or wanted?

lastly... assuming you had liberal ideals back then... how would you feel if the union was donating all their campaign cash to elect religious republicans to office?
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:42 pm

There's this unionized grocery store in my area. The workers are all white.

The non-unionized grocery stores in my area are primarily not-white. Unions have a nasty habit of ensuring little or no opportunity for others.
"You see, the devil haunts a hungry man.
If you don’t wanna join him, you got to beat him."
- Kris Kristofferson (To Beat the Devil)
Ragorn
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:58 pm

kiryan wrote:lastly... assuming you had liberal ideals back then... how would you feel if the union was donating all their campaign cash to elect religious republicans to office?

Staunch conservative Christian Republican at that age. I hadn't yet started to think about things on my own.

Unions are necessary to empower the individual worker to effectively bargain with giant corporations with infinite lobbying dollars. I absolutely expect unions to act as greedy, underhanded, and as cutthroat as necessary to protect the livelihood of their workers, because the corporations they're involved with are doing the same to protect their executives and stockholders.

Without unions, corporations hold all the power in the employment agreement, and that's not a satisfactory state of affairs.
- Ragorn
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Corth: Go ask out a chick that doesn't wiggle her poon in people's faces for a living.
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:07 pm

So how did you feel about your money going exclusively to elect Democrats who voted against your principles? Today some teachers are paying $100 a month in union dues.

Also, I think if you stop for a second in your union pitch, you'll realize that government holds the power and the government is elected by the people.
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:20 pm

kiryan wrote:So how did you feel about your money going exclusively to elect Democrats who voted against your principles? Today some teachers are paying $100 a month in union dues.

Just fine. The benefit I got from being a member of the union was worth the $9.65/month I paid in dues. They essentially saved my job, which is what the union is supposed to do.

Also, I think if you stop for a second in your union pitch, you'll realize that government holds the power and the government is elected by the people.

The government holds no power over my relationship with my employer. I'm in a Right to Work state, remember? Corporations are not regulated as tightly here.
- Ragorn
Shar: Leave the moaning to the people who have real issues to moan about like rangers or newbies.
Corth: Go ask out a chick that doesn't wiggle her poon in people's faces for a living.
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:22 pm

what is $10 bucks in inflation adjusted terms?

there are no laws that govern your relationship with the company?

there is no such thing as a civil lawsuit?

I think you are mistaken. The "rights" or protections you may wish were law may not exist, but government can certainly enact them as they see fit. That actually is something covered by the commerce clause unlike everything else they use it for.
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Ashiwi » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:39 am

And this is why I opened this up under the Current Events & Politics forum.
Gormal tells you 'im a dwarven onion'
Gormal tells you 'always another beer-soaked layer'

Inama ASSOC:: 'though it may suit your fantasies to think so, i don't need oil for anything.'

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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Kifle » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:52 pm

Ashiwi wrote:And this is why I opened this up under the Current Events & Politics forum.


It was going so well at the beginning, too!
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Re: NLRA and Right to Work States

Postby Ragorn » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:23 pm

I am attempting to inform, since I've worked in a Right to Work state for 15 years now. There's another thread where kiryan can bitch about the cost of union dues in Wisconsin; this isn't it.
- Ragorn
Shar: Leave the moaning to the people who have real issues to moan about like rangers or newbies.
Corth: Go ask out a chick that doesn't wiggle her poon in people's faces for a living.

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