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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Can I Be Fired for Starting a Union?

By Dan Atkerson on May 29, 2017

starting a unionJoining a union is a right that most employees have. Texas is an “at-will” state, which means employers can fire employees for almost any reason or no reason at all. However, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects joining a union and attempting to join a union for employees not categorized as independent contractors in most industries. Joining a union can help employees talk about serious work-related issues together, come up with efficient ways to bargain for additional rights and benefits, and gain protection from firing and employee discrimination. Have you attempted starting or joining a union and are now experiencing backlash from your employer?

Ways to Prove That Employers Discriminated Against Unionizing

  • Dictating speech towards co-workers: An employer is not allowed to keep you from communicating about union issues with your co-workers as long as you are within your boundaries as an employee. For example, talking about union issues so much that it takes away from time spent doing your job would not be protected.
  • Work reassignments: If an employer gives you “punishment work,” demotes you to a lower position, or disrupts your work life after attempting to unionize.
  • Threats: Threats to your job or you personally regarding union activities.
  • Incentives: An employer offers you additional pay or benefits for declining union activities.
Cases like this can be complicated, as employers can fire someone for any reason that is not protected by law. The NLRA does not cover some employees, such as farm-workers and supervisors. If you have lost your job or received threats after attempting to unionize, having an experienced Dallas employment law attorney can help you get the coverage you deserve.

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