Friday, January 14, 2011
The NLRB has just informed the Attorneys General of four states that they're new laws requiring secret-ballot elections for union recognition are preempted by the NLRA. From the Board's notice:
The National Labor Relations Board today advised the Attorneys General of Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah that recently-approved state constitutional amendments governing the method by which employees choose union representation conflict with federal labor law and therefore are preempted by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The states were also advised that the Board has authorized the Acting General Counsel to file lawsuits in federal court, if necessary, to enjoin them from enforcing the laws.
Under the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, private-sector employees have two ways to choose a union: They may vote in a secret-ballot election conducted by the NLRB, or they may persuade an employer to voluntarily recognize a union after showing majority support by signed authorization cards or other means.
The state amendments prohibit the second method and therefore interfere with the exercise of a well-established federally-protected right. For that reason, they are preempted by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. . . . The amendments have already taken effect in South Dakota and Utah, and are expected to become effective soon in Arizona and South Carolina.
As I've said in our earlier reporting on these measures, this is a no-brainer. I only wonder whether the various state officials will be willing to waste the money to continue to make their political points on this issue.
Hat Tip: Jason Walta & Justin Keith