Public sector labor law rules vary tremendously by jurisdiction. Still, public sector labor statutes are generally modeled on the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (“NLRA”), as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 151, et seq., with the caveat that they usually provide fewer of the same sorts of rights. Weak remedies, the inability to strike, and lack of bargaining leverage, for example, certainly hurt Public Sector Unions.
One key difference in the public sector is the absence of a background employment at-will rule that swallows the exception labor law was meant to create. Most public workers eligible to join unions are covered by civil service rules that require some form of “just cause” for discharge. Also, the Constitution gives public employees some substantive and procedural protections in discharge cases. Thus, their employers may not fire them with relative impunity at the first sign of union organizing, as happens too frequently in the private sector.
Unlike private sector law, public sector labor laws come from state and local rules or, in the case of the federal government, from the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, 5 U.S.C. § 7101, et seq. or the Postal Reorganization Act, 39 U.S.C. § 1208, et seq. For this reason, in addition to providing legal services similar in nature to those provided to Private Sector unions, Lubin & Enoch, PC also practices in the area of Election Law and coordinates a full-scale legislative and political action program to monitor issues that impact government unions.
Lubin & Enoch, PC has represented dozens of public sector unions representing federal, state, county and municipal employees. For example, our attorneys have represented public sector labor unions in the following areas:
- Firefighters and paramedics
- Sheriffs deputies
- Public School Teachers
- State and county courts
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Department of Energy
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and
- U.S. Postal Service (e.g., letter carriers, mail handlers)