Know Your Rights

It is your legally protected right to organize and form a union. 

  • In Minnesota public employees are protected under the Public Employee Labor Relations Act (PELRA);
  • In South Dakota public employees are protected by the Public Employees’ Unions statute;
  • The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is the federal law protecting private sector employees.

 You have the Right to:

  • Form and join labor organizations;
  • Organize fellow employees, support the union and distribute literature and membership cards to be signed;
  • Participate in meetings to discuss joining a union;
  • Distribute union flyers and brochures in non-work areas during breaks and lunch;
  • Petition and join together with co-workers to protest unfair treatment or demand improvements in wages, hours or working conditions;
  • File complaints against your employer;
  • Wear union buttons, stickers, T-shirts and hats;
  • Vote by secret ballot election to designate a union to represent you and your coworkers to bargain grievance procedures and terms and conditions of employment.

Your Employer cannot Lawfully:

  • Favor employees who oppose the Union over ones who support it----this includes promotions and special treatment;
  • Threaten to close your place of employment if you support joining a union;
  • Bar you from discussing the union with co-workers during non-working hours;
  • Threaten to take your way your wages and benefits if you support joining join a union;
  • Promise you raises or other favors if you oppose joining a union;
  • Ask employees about the union, union meetings, or any other questions about the organizing & administration of your union.

“Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.”