Organizing a Union: Your Right at Work
Union: "A union is an organization of workers joined together for a common purpose; for mutual aid and protection; for collective bargaining; for political action; for the elevation of their conditions of life and labor"
You have a right BY LAW to safe, healthy and fair conditions at work.
American law PROTECTS YOUR RIGHT:
TO JOIN A LABOR UNION. Your employer may not retaliate against you for signing a card requesting union representation, for attending meetings to discuss joining a union, or for showing your support for union membership by wearing union buttons, shirts or other items. For more information about your right to join a union click here.
TO A SAFE AND HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT. For information on the Occupational Safety and Health Act that protects these rights, or if you have been injured at work and need help, click here.
TO BE FULLY PAID FOR ALL HOURS YOU HAVE WORKED. Unless you are in a specially exempt category (like managers and salaried professionals) you are entitled to overtime pay of 1.5 times your standard rate of pay when you work more than 40 hours per week. For more information click Fair Labor Standards @ Work.
TO UP TO TWELVE WEEKS OF UNPAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE to care for a newborn child or seriously ill family member, if you work for an employer with over 50 employees. For more information on these rights click here.
TO A WORKPLACE FREE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT. Your employer must ensure that no employee is pressured for sexual favors or subjected to a hostile environment in order to keep his or her job. For more information click here.
American law FORBIDS an employer from discrimination on the basis of:
Race or Ethnicity
Support for a Labor Union
If you have encountered any of these types of discrimination, or just want to get more information on your rights under the law, click here.
Your Rights at Work
The Union Difference
America's 16.2 million union members represent a cross section of people -- women and men of all ages, races and ethnic groups. In New Jersey, our one million members work in hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes, auto assembly plants and on construction sites, trains, buses and airplanes. They are security guards, cooks, nurses, engineers, office workers, musicians, electricians, postal workers, janitors and more.
New Jersey's Own: Union Member of the Century
Albert Einstein, Time magazine's "Person of the Century" was a visionary scientist, philosopher, teacher -- and a union member. As a founding member of Princeton Federation of Teachers Local 552 he said: "I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and, also, generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field."
Working people in all walks of life join together in unions to gain a voice at work. Union members have a say about pay, benefits, working conditions and how their jobs get done -- and having that say gives them a "union advantage."
If you don't have a union at your job, find out more about how to form one. Today, more people are looking into joining unions than at any time in recent history. You can be one of them!