COVID19 Relief Fund & Grant Resources

Creative Workers Grant – Application Closes August 28th
Available to creatives and event technicians like audio engineers and lighting designers

Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund

Crew Nation – Global Relief Fund for Live Music Crews

FAQ

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Texas: A Right To Work State | What does this mean?

Can I Organize in a Right to Work State like Texas?

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a federal law that provides every American worker the right to organize, form, and join a union. The Right to Work status of a state does not limit the rights granted to working people by the NLRA. Texas is home to many strong unions, representing thousands of workers and advocating for fair treatment and safe workplace practices.

What is the National Labor Relations Act?

Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy. You can read the NLRA act here.

What are my rights as an employee?

Employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act are afforded certain rights to join together to improve their wages and working conditions, with or without a union. Learn more about your Employee Rights from the National Labor Relations Board here.

Biggest Myths About The Right-To-Work Laws

Read about the biggest myths here.

Advocates of right-to-work laws argue that right-to-work laws will benefit workers. Will they? What rights do these laws give employees — and their bosses? AOL Jobs legal affairs blogger Donna Ballman, who is an employment attorney, answers a reader’s question on this subject and in the process debunks what she says are common myths around these laws.

Donna Ballman

I have more National Labor Relations Board Questions!

Check out the National Labor Relations Board website’s FAQ!

Unions

Why Do I Need a Union?

The provisions of Texas state law consider most workers “employees at will.” This means that except under very special circumstances, an employer can discharge its workers with or without a reason and at any time. Employers can also set wage rates, benefit levels and work rules without any worker input or involvement. In other words, management can do or change just about anything it wants, whenever it chooses. When workers form a union, their employer is then obligated under federal law to negotiate wages, hours and conditions of employment with representatives that the workers designate. 

How Does the Union Work?

A union is a democratic organization of a majority of workers in a facility. The basic idea of a union is that by joining with fellow employees to form a union, workers have a greater ability to improve conditions at the worksite. In other words, “In unity, there is strength.”

Who Runs the Union? The Company Says the Union is Just a Bunch of Outsiders–A Third Party.

You run your own union. You elect your negotiating committee and prepare your own list of improvements for a union contract. You elect your own officers. The union is not an “outsider.” The union is you!

My Company Says that Unions are Corrupt.

Studies have been done that have demonstrated that less than 1% of local unions had corruption problems. Compare this with an investigation into corporate corruption by Fortune magazine that found that corporate corruption ran at 11%.

Want to be Happy? Join a Union.

Read this opinion piece by John Guida from The New York Times.

“For those who belong to a union, membership seems to bring a benefit that perhaps surpasses better wages or generous health insurance: higher life satisfaction.”

John Guida, author of article “Want to be Happy? Join a Union”

Am I Protected By Law?

It is illegal for you to be fired, punished or harassed for attending union meetings or for supporting the union. The law protects your rights as workers to improve your working conditions.

The Federal Government guarantees you the right to organize a union. To put it simply, the United States Government itself guarantees you the right to help organize, join and support a union of your choice. This includes such activities as signing union cards, encouraging others to sign union cards and attending union meetings. 

It also includes such activities as wearing union buttons, passing out union literature, and talking to other workers as long as it doesn’t interfere with work (production). It also means that employers are breaking the law if they question workers: (1) to try and find out how the workers feel; (2) to identify who has signed cards and who are union supporters; (3) to discover which ones are attending meetings, or if they engage in any other interference with your right to freely choose a union. 

It also means employers cannot promise raises, promotions or other benefits in an attempt to influence workers. They cannot take away or threaten to take away any of your benefits because of union activity. 

It also means you cannot be penalized in any way because of your union activity or support. You cannot have your overtime cut, be transferred to a less desirable job, be suspended or discharged. If an employer does any of these things because of your union activity or support, the law says you must be reinstated to your former job without loss of seniority, and the employer must pay you for all the lost wages plus interest. 

I have more Union questions

Check out IATSE Local 205 webpage for more resources or get in touch with us!

Employers: Why Organizing Helps You

Most organization campaigns are initiated by the employees. Unfortunately, this can sometimes create a difficult relationship between the employees and management. Sometimes, people feel they are fighting an “Us & Them” battle. However, employers have the ability to create a more positive relationship with their employees by recognizing their voice and initiating union negotiations.

The way you decide to structure relations with your staff is an important decision. If you recognize a trade union, it will benefit your business when you enjoy a good working relationship with them. You may also benefit from union expertise on issues such as health and safety, drawing up disciplinary procedures, training, etc.

Union workplaces have shown over and over again that employee production and participation are always higher because of their union involvement. Even if you find that your hourly costs may seem higher, in the end you save money by having more qualified, educated, safe, and active employees in the workplace.

A trade union is an organization of workers that seeks to protect and advance the interests of its members by negotiating with employers on pay and conditions of work. Unions may also provide legal advice, financial assistance, sickness benefits and education facilities to their members.

There can be advantages to employers if their staff are in a union:

  • It can be easier to communicate, consult and negotiate with one body than with several individuals
  • Unions can help with safety issues in the workplace
  • They can help to organize training and development
  • They can help to improve staff morale and commitment

Employment Status

I think I’m being misclassified?

We’re sorry to hear that. Here are some resources that might help:

Independent Contractor (1099) or Employee (W2)?

Independent Contractor
“People such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, accountants, contractors, subcontractors, public stenographers, or auctioneers who are in an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the general public are generally independent contractors. However, whether these people are independent contractors or employees depends on the facts in each case. The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax.” -IRS
Find out more here.

Employee (Common-Law Employee)

Under common-law rules, anyone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done. This is so even when you give the employee freedom of action. What matters is that you have the right to control the details of how the services are performed.” – IRS

Find out more here.

Determining employment status comes down to 1)behavioral 2)financial 3)type of relationship. For more information download 1099 Contractor Information in our resources below or find more resources on the IRS Website.

Downloadable Resources

W2 or 1099?

Labor & Employment