Labor Management Relations

Employment Law
History of Labor Laws
Early American Law
 Common Law
Compilation of previous decisions and
principles that judges base decisions
Early to mid 1800’s illegal for workers band
together to apply pressure on employers
 Constitution
Allows Congress to pass laws to regulate
Employees banding together an impedance on
free flow of commerce
Commonwealth v Hunt (1842)
 Massachusetts Supreme Court
Right to combine in pursuit of lawful goals,
utilizing lawful means
Ended criminal conspiracy
Courts interpret picketing, threats of violence
as unlawful means
Civil conspiracy
Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
 Curb concentration of power that interferes
with trade and economic competition
 The Act did not specifically address unions
 The Act was utilized against unions
Unions seen as illegal combinations that could
interfere with commerce
Loewe v Lawlor (1908)
a.k.a.Danbury Hatters Case
 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that union was
subject to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act
Secondary boycott tactic illegal
Clayton Act (1914)
 Growing concern over control of money, power
 Provided greater definition of illegal business practices
 Created the Federal Trade Commission to investigate
unfair competition practices
 “The labor of the human being is not a commodity or
article of commerce” believed to mean:
Not subject to Sherman Anti Trust Act
Intent to limit use of injunctions in labor disputes
Provide legal basis for:
 Strikes
 Boycotts
 Peaceful picketing
 Subsequent court rulings contradict legal provision to
limit injunctions, secondary boycotts
Railway Labor Act (1926)
 Provided Railway workers right to form union
 Established mediation board
 Framework in place for resolving disputes
Norris-LaGuardia Act (1932)
 Stock market crash of 1929 drives Congress to take
steps to regulate economy
 Need for reform recognized
 Act provides:
Unions have “full freedom of association” without
interference from employers
Declares yellow-dog contracts unenforceable in
Federal Court
Barred federal courts from issuing injunctions in certain
labor related issues
A call for neutrality by the courts
Wagner Act (1935)
a.k.a. National Labor Relations Act
 Eliminates employer interference with
employees attempting to unionize
 Outlines unfair employer labor practices
 Clarifies right to form or join a union, bargain
collectively, right to concerted activity
 Establishes NLRB to:
Protect rights of workers; encourage bargaining
Order elections whereby workers choose which
union the want to represent them
Enforce employers must bargain
Taft-Hartley Act (1947)
Renamed Labor Mgmt Relations Act
 Guaranteed employees the right NOT to join a
 Closed shops unlawful
 Require union to give 60 days notice of strike
 Allowed for 80 day federal injunction to a strike
Threats to national health or safety
 Outlines unfair union practices
 Requires union officers to deny communist
affiliation under oath
 Restrictions on union political contributions
Landrum-Griffin Act (1959)
a.k.a. Labor Management Reporting & Disclosure
 Institutes federal penalties for union officials
Misuse union funds
Are found guilty of crimes
Prevented their members from exercising their
legal rights
OSH Act (1970)
 Addresses health and safety for almost the
entire work force
 Organized labor strong advocate for Act
 Established the Occupational Health and
Safety Administration (OSHA)
“If this law isn’t fully and effectively implemented, we will
scream bloody murder”
George Meaning, President AFL-CIO
WARN (1988)
 Requires 60 day notice to employees
impacted by major layoff or plant closing (100
 Requires notice to union, local and state
government officials
50 or more workers at one site within 30 day
33% of workforce laid off within 30 day period
500 or more employees within a 30 day period
Civil Service Reform Act (1978)
 Establishes legislative action to guarantee
bargaining rights to federal employees