New State Law Allows Public Employees to Unionize With the Stroke of a Pen

By March 19, 2002Articles

Our state legislature has given organized labor a tremendous gift this year. Effective on January 1st of 2002, a union which desires to represent a group of public employees such as government attorneys, hospital nurses or firemen, no longer needs to campaign for and win a representation election. Assembly Bill 1281, which is codified at Government Code Section 3507.1, eliminates the need to hold an election to approve union representation.

AB 1281 permits labor organizations and union supporters to simply gather signature cards of more than 50% of the proposed bargaining unit and they’re in. “A pubic agency shall grant exclusive or majority recognition to an employee organization based on a signed petition, authorization cards or union membership cards showing that a majority of the employees in an en appropriate bargaining unit desire representation…”

Eliminating the requirement of an election will certainly put some public employers/agencies at a serious disadvantage. Traditionally that is when an employer is given an opportunity and sometimes the only opportunity to address the union’s allegations, campaign against organization and persuade its workforce that they are better off not being represented.

For any questions or comments regarding this Labor Law Update please contact attorney Michael Daly of the Daly Law Firm at (619) 525-7000 or

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