What Are Our Labor Rights?

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The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects our right to join together to address working conditions with our coworkers without being disciplined or terminated and to file complaints when our rights are violated.


All Employees Have a Right To:

  • Select a union bargaining agent without being threatened or intimidated by the employer.
  • Discuss the union with colleagues in non-work areas (cafeterias, parking lot, rest areas, restrooms etc.) during lunch and rest breaks or at times where other non-work related discussions are permissible. This also applies for the distribution of union literature.
  • Wear buttons supporting organizing or collective bargaining activities.
  • Be free from management spying for the purpose of observing union activities, refuse to discuss the union with supervisors or other personnel in a managerial capacity.
  • Keep written records of all violation of these rights (time, place, people involved and incident).

The Employer Cannot:

  • Discriminate because of your union membership, or your activities or statements in support of the union.
  • Prevent you from talking with other employees about the union in non-work areas during your lunch and rest breaks.
  • Interfere with your right to wear a button supporting organizing or bargaining activities (except where patient care could be impacted, e.g. maintaining sterile OR conditions)
  • Promise benefits to encourage you to vote against or abandon support for the union.
  • Grant a pay increase, resolve a grievance, or change working conditions to influence your support or feelings about the union.
  • Threaten to close the facility or lay off employees if the union is selected.
  • Compel an employee to discuss the union or any matters related to it.
  • Support or give assistance to anti-union employees.
  • Solicit grievances or promise to remedy them to keep the union out.
  • Have supervisors or management persons call employees at home to ask about their support or feelings about the union.
  • Spy on employees for the purpose of observing union activities.

Visit the National Labor Relations Board for more information.


If I completed an authorization card, will the administration know?

No. We do not share who completes an authorization card with the administration.


What do I do if I believe my rights have been violated?

Have a discussion with a union representative or the organizers representing your division. If a member of management interferes with any of our rights to participate in union activities, we can file an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) complaint with the NLRB. The NLRB will investigate the complaint and issue a ruling.

During a unionization campaign, administrators and managers will often start acting differently, showing up more often, and might start acting super friendly or hostile. We encourage everyone to keep notes logging anytime something seems out of place. Be sure to document the who, what, when, where, why.

We have six months to file a complaint with the NLRB from the time the violation occurred.

Should it become necessary, the NLRB also protects our right to file complaints against the employer free from retaliation.


Why does the administration oppose unions?

Generally, it comes down to power. Currently, without a union, the administration can change policies at any time with little or no notice, we are at-will, and they have no obligation to sit down and hear our concerns. They can cut services, lay off employees, and increase our workloads without so much as a discussion. With a union, we will have a legal right to be involved in discussions about the decisions that affect our working conditions and the impacts of these decisions.

Administration likes to remind us that they have an "open door" policy or to defer to the governance board, but our concerns often get ignored and pushed to the side altogether. The administration is also quick to tell us that if we don't like something, "there's the door to leave."

We should not have to leave if we are unhappy when we collectively can help make St. Charles a better place to work and to receive care. We deserve a real voice, the right to bargain a legally recognized contract, and the ability to speak out without feeling ignored or fearful of retaliation.