Massachusetts law about unions and collective bargaining

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on unions and collective bargaining law.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.150 Conciliation and Arbitration of Labor Disputes
MGL c.150A Labor Relations
MGL c.150C Collective Bargaining Agreements to Arbitrate
MGL c.150E Public Employee Labor Relations

Massachusetts regulations

456 CMR Department of Labor Relations

Federal laws

29 USC 151-169 National Labor Relations Act

Selected case law

Commonwealth v. Hunt, 45 Mass. 111, 4 Metcalf 111 (1842)
Case is considered a landmark decision in the legalization of labor unions. 

Department of Labor Relations-Commonwealth Employment Relations Board Recent Decisions. 2016-date.

Boston Housing Authority v. National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, Local 3, 458 Mass. 155 (2010) 
An "evergreen clause" extending the terms of a lapsed contract during negotiation, "was rendered invalid by G. L. c. 150E, § 7 (a), which prohibits extending the duration of a CBA beyond three years."

Harris v. Quinn, 573 US __ (June 30, 2014) 
Limiting agency fee. In a case involving a narrow class of employees, who are considered state employees only for the purposes of collective bargaining, but are otherwise not state employees, the court held that the "First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from Rehabilitation Program PAs who do not want to join or support the union."

Janus v. AFSME Council 31, __ US __ (June 27, 2018)
Government workers who choose not to join unions may not be required to pay agency fees to the union for collective bargaining services.

NLRB v. Weingarten, 420 US 251 (1975)
Union members have a right to have a representative present if the interview may result in disciplinary consequences. "The right arises only in situations where the employee requests representation."

Forms

Department of Labor Relations forms, includes forms for: public employment, private employment, conciliation, mediation, and arbitration.

Agencies

Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations

National Labor Relations Board

Web sources

A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Employee Collective Bargaining Law, Mass. Dept. of Labor Relations, 2017.
This well-known book is now available online full-text. Includes detailed procedures, summary of law, and more.

Memorandum Concerning Boston Housing Authority v. National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, Local 3, 458 Mass. 155 (2010), Chief Counsel Memorandum 2010-1, Department of Labor Relations, December 2, 2010.

NLRB Bench Book, National Labor Relations Board, 2018
This bench book "represents an effort to set forth Board precedent and other rulings and authorities on certain recurring procedural issues that may arise during the course of an NLRB trial. It is not a digest of substantive law. Nor should it be cited as precedent, or be considered a substitute for issue-specific research."

NLRB Manuals, National Labor Relations Board. Includes:

  • NLRB Casehandling Manual: Compliance Proceeding, 2018
    Long (over 300 p.) document covers all facets of compliance proceedings.
  • NLRB Casehandling Manual: Representation Proceedings, 2017
    Long (over 300 p.) document covers the whole process from pre-election through post-election.
  • NLRB Casehandling Manual: Unfair Labor Practice Proceedings, 2018
    Extremely lengthy (almost 300 p.) online version of book covers everything you need to know about unfair labor practice.

Representation Case Manual, Mass. Dept. of Labor Relations
Covers pre-election through post-election, with lots of references to primary law.

Your rights in the workplace , Nolo, 2018. 
Chapter 15: Labor unions "
provides information about labor unions in the U.S. such as the National Labor Relations Act, the Labor Management Relations Act, and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. It also discusses state right-to-work laws as well as the types of union work situations in the country."  Requires library card for access.

Print sources

"Enabling Employee Choice: A Structural Approach to the Rules of Union Organizing," by Benjamin I. Sachs, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 123, Issue 3 (January 2010), pp. 655-729

How to Take a Case Before the NLRB, BNA, 2016

Labor and Employment in Massachusetts, Jeffrey L. Hirsch, LexisNexis, loose-leaf
Chapter 12: Unions and Collective Bargaining.

Massachusetts Employer's Guide, Aspen Publishers, loose-leaf
Chapter 10: Unions and Government Contractors.

Massachusetts Employment Law, MCLE, loose-leaf.
Chapters 24 and 25.

Massachusetts Labor Cases, New England Legal Publishers, monthly.

Municipal Law and Practice (Mass. Practice v.18), Douglas A. Randall and Douglas E. Franklin, Thomson/West, with supplement
Chapter 12: Labor Relations.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: September 20, 2018

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