NLRB Moves to Protect Workers’ Rights in Arizona

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for its illegal attempt to mandate the use of secret ballot-only union elections.

The NLRB says the Arizona law violates federal law, in place now for 76 years.

Arizona voters recently approved a state constitutional amendment requiring secret ballot elections in circumstances where federal law permits private-sector employees to express their choice of union representation.

But under the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, private-sector employees have two ways to choose a union: They may vote in a secret-ballot election conducted by the NLRB, or they may persuade an employer to voluntarily recognize a union after showing majority support by signed authorization cards or other means. The NLRB says the Arizona law conflicts with federal law by stripping away workers’ rights to gain union representation via voluntary employer recognition.

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution deems as invalid any state law that conflicts with federal law.

The NLRB is expected to file a second complaint against South Dakota for a similar state constitutional amendment. South Carolina and Utah have also passed similar legislation.