Public Sector Decertification Laws (as of 8/2010)  

You may contact Foundation staff attorneys if you have questions about how to proceed under any of these laws, need assistance in dealing with the appropriate state agency, or encounter legal difficulties interfering with your efforts.

Alaska

Alaska law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “an employee or group of employees or an organization acting in their behalf alleg[es] that 30 per cent of the employees of a proposed bargaining unit . . . assert that the organization which has been certified or is currently being recognized by the public employer as bargaining representative is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the bargaining unit.” Alaska Statutes § 23.40.100. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency (ALRA) on a form prescribed by the Agency, available here, accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. See Alaska Statutes §§ 23.40.100(c) & (e) for rules covering when a decertification election can be held.

California

The procedures for decertifying an exclusive bargaining representative depend on whether the employee is covered by the Educational Employee Relations Act (EERA) (public schools and community colleges); the Dills Act (state employees); the Higher Education Employer-Employee Act (HEERA) (state universities); or the Meyers-Milias Brown Act (MMBA) (cities and counties). For more information, click here.

If the employee is covered by the EERA, the Dills Act, or the HEERA, then a decertification petition is filed with the California Public Employment Relations Commission (PERB). Click here for a decertification petition.

Persons must file a decertification petition with the appropriate PERB regional office per PERB Regulation 32075, and must accompany said petition with proof of support of at least 30% of the employees in the established bargaining unit.

If the employee is covered by the MMBA, then decertification elections are determined and processed in accordance with the rules adopted by the local city or county agency. See California Government Code § 3507.1.

Connecticut

Connecticut law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if a petition has been filed by an employee or group of employees alleging that a “substantial number of employees” assert that the employee organization which has been certified or is currently being recognized by their employer as the bargaining representative is no longer the representative of a majority of employees in the unit. Connecticut General Statutes Annotated § 7- 471(1)(ii). A petition for decertification must be presented to the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations (CSBLR) on a form prescribed by the CSBLR, available for:

  • state employees here.
  • municipal employees here; accompanied by a 30% showing of interest.
  • A “substantial number of employees” “is pluralistic”. A single employee can hardly be “a substantial number of employees” under § 7-471(1)(A). Town of Winchester v. Connecticut St. Bd. of Labor, 402 A.2d 332 (Conn. 1978).

    Delaware

    Delaware law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative pursuant to Delaware Statutes Title 19, § 1311(b): “a group of employees within the bargaining unit may file a petition with the Board for decertification of the exclusive bargaining representative. The petition must contain the uncoerced signatures of at least 30 percent of the employees within the bargaining unit and allege that the employee organization presently certified is no longer the choice of the majority of the employees in the bargaining unit. If a lawful collective bargaining agreement of no more than 3 years duration is in effect, no petition shall be entertained unless filed not more than 180 days nor less than 120 days prior to the expiration of such agreement. A decertification petition also may be filed if more than 1 year has elapsed from the date of certification of an exclusive bargaining representative and no collective bargaining agreement has been executed.” See the same language at 14 Delaware Code § 4011, for public school employees, and at 19 Delaware Code § 1611, for Police Officers and Firefighters. Employees may obtain a petition for a decertification election from the Delaware Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) at 820 N. French Street, 4th Floor, Wilmington, DE 19801. Telephone: (302) 577-5070.

    District of Columbia

    District of Columbia law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative: “the Board shall issue rules and regulations which provide procedures for decertification of exclusive representatives upon the request of 30 percent of the employees.” District of Columbia Code § 1-617.10. A petition for decertification filed by an employee shall be accompanied by a showing that at least thirty percent (30%) of the employees in the bargaining unit no longer desire to be represented by the exclusive representative. Such petitions must be presented to the District of Columbia Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), located at 717 14th Street, NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Telephone: (202) 727-1822. The rules explaining the procedures and petition contents required for filing include PERB Rules 505.1 through 505.3 and 505.8. (Note: Click on Dispute Resolution (under Services); Certification and de-certification of labor organization as exclusive bargaining representative (§ 505) (under Bargaining Unit).)

    Florida
    Florida law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. “Any employee or group of employees which no longer desires to be represented by the certified bargaining agent may file with the commission a petition to revoke certification. The petition shall be accompanied by dated statements signed by at least 30 percent of the employees in the unit, indicating that such employees no longer desire to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the certified bargaining agent. The time of filing said petition shall be governed by the provisions of s[ection] 447.307(3)(d) relating to petitions for certification.” Florida Statutes Annotated § 447.308(1). A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) on a form prescribed by PERC, available here, (click on PERC Forms, Petition to Revoke Certification) accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. The Florida PERC did not have authority to decertify local union on basis that local had abandoned employees, represented by 12 years of inactivity. City of Boynton Beach v. State Pub. Employees Relations Comm’n, 543 So.2d 403 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1989).

    Hawaii

    Hawaii law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes § 89-7, which states “[a] petition to decertify or to change the exclusive bargaining representative must be supported by fifty percent of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit, through verifiable written proof of the names and signatures of employees. Signatures of employees supporting such a petition must be obtained within two months of the date of the petition to be valid with the Board.” Hawaii Revised Statutes Annotated § 89-7(a). A petition for decertification must be filed with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, 830 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, on a form prescribed by the Board. Call (808) 586-8610.

    Idaho
    Note: The following statute uses the word “Deauthorization” but establishes a decertification procedure:

    “A petition in a union shop for an election to determine whether there should be any union representation must show at least thirty percent (30%) or more of the employees in the unit covered by the agreement desire such deauthorization. This petition must be filed with the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor and Industrial Services.” Idaho Administrative Code § 09.05.03.014.12 (IDAPA 09.05.03.014, subsection 12)

    Illinois

    Illinois law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “a public employee or group of public employees . . . demonstrat[e] that 30% of the public employees in an appropriate unit . . . assert[] that the labor organization which has been certified or is currently recognized by the public employer as bargaining representative is no longer the representative of the majority of public employees in the unit . . . .” Illinois Statutes Chapter 5, § 315/9.

    Illinois law has a separate law which permits educational employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “an employee or group of employees or any labor organizations acting on their behalf alleging and presenting evidence that 30% or more of the employees in a bargaining unit wish to be represented for collective bargaining or that the labor organization which has been acting as the exclusive bargaining representative is no longer representative of a majority of the employees in the unit . . . .” Illinois Statutes Chapter 115, § 5/7. Unless a specific bar applies, decertification petitions may be filed between January 15 and March 1 the year that the collective bargaining agreement expires, or in the third year of an agreement that is in effect for more than three years. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) on a form prescribed by the IELRB. For further information on decertification rules, see Illinois Administrative Code § 1110.60 and §1110.70 here.

    Public employees (other than educational): A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB), on a form (Decertification Petition) prescribed by the ILRB, available here, accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. ILRB rules covering decertification can be found at 80 Illinois Administrative Code §§ 1210.60 and 1210.80. Educational employees: A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) on a form prescribed by the IELRB.

    Indiana

    Indiana law permits certified school employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. “A petition may be filed by twenty percent (20%) of the school employees in any unit asserting that the designated exclusive representative is no longer the representative of the majority of school employees in the unit.” Indiana Code Annotated § 20-7.5-1-10(c)(3). A petition for decertification must be filed with the Indiana Educational Employee Relations Board at the Indiana Government Center, Suite N1049, 100 N. Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204, accompanied by a 20% showing of interest. For more information call (317) 232-9132.

    Iowa

    Iowa law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. “The petition of a public employee shall allege that an employee organization which has been certified as the bargaining representative does not represent a majority of such public employees and that the petitioners do not want to be represented by an employee organization or seek certification of an employee organization.” Iowa Code Annotated §§ 20.14.3 and 20.14.5(a). A petition for decertification election must be obtained and filed at the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board, 514 E. Locust, Suite 202, Des Moines, IA 50309, accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. A petition for decertification form is available here. Rules covering decertification, including when such a petition may be filed are available at Iowa Code Annotated § 20.15.6. For more information call (515) 281-4414.

    Kansas

    Kansas law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. The Kansas Public Employment Relations Board “is authorized to hold elections to determine whether . . . a recognized employee organization should be decertified” when 30% or more of the employees in a bargaining unit petition for a decertification election. However, any petition calling for such an election “shall be dismissed by the board without determining the questions raised therein if such petition is filed more than 150 days or less than 90 days prior to the expiration date of an existing memorandum of agreement which governs the terms and conditions of employment of the employees within the appropriate unit.” Kansas Statutes Annotated § 75-4327(d). A petition for decertification can be obtained and filed at the Kansas Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), 1430 Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66012. Telephone (785) 368-6224. See Kansas Administrative Regulations § 84-2-7 for PERB’s rule covering decertification of a public employee organization.

    A unit decertification form can be found here;

    A decertification signature form is available here.

    Kentucky

    Kentucky law permits firefighters to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “a firefighter or group of firefighters . . . [a]ssert that the labor organization which has been certified or is currently being recognized by the public employer as bargaining representative is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the unit . . . ” (Kentucky Revised Statutes § 345.060). A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Kentucky State Labor Relations Board, Cabinet of Employment Standards and Mediation , 1047 U.S. Highway 127 South, Suite 4, Frankfort, KY 40601. Telephone (502) 564-2784.

    For police officers, Kentucky Revised Statutes § 67C.408 provides that police officers have the right to petition for decertification when acting on behalf of 30% of the employees asserting that the “labor organization which has been certified or is currently being recognized by the consolidated local government as bargaining representative is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the unit”.

    Maine

    Maine law states that municipal employees have a right to not join a union )26 M.R.S. § 963(2009)). Maine law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if 30% of the employees in a bargaining unit petition for decertification. Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 26, § 967 (municipal employees); Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 26, § 979-F (state employees); Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 26, § 1025 (University of Maine employees); Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, Title 26 § 1287 (judicial employees). These statutes are available for:

  • Municipal employees here
  • State employees here
  • University employees here
  • Judicial employees here
  • A petition for a decertification election may be obtained and filed at the Maine Labor Relations Board on a form available here. For rules covering decertification, including when such a petition may be filed, see MLRB’s Rules and Procedures Chapter 11, §§ 41 through 58.

    Maryland

    Maryland law permits higher education employees (non-faculty) to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. A “bargaining unit employee may file a decertification petition with the Board requesting an election to determine if the incumbent certified exclusive representative of the bargaining unit does, in fact, continue to represent a majority of the employees in the bargaining unit.” Code of Maryland Regulations § 14.30.04.11. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the State Higher Education Labor Relations Board, 839 Bestgate Road, Suite 400, Annapolis, MD 21401. Telephone: 410-260-3216. The State Higher Education Labor Relations Board's website can be viewed here.

    Maryland law also permits employees of departments within the Executive Branch (i.e., Insurance Administration, State Department of Assessments and Taxation, and the State Lottery Agency) to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative:

    “The mediation unit of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation shall . . . [m]ake determinations regarding certification and decertification of exclusive bargaining representative.” Code of Maryland Regulations § 01.01.1996.13. A petition for a decertification election must be filed with the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; Mediation Unit, 1110 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

    When a petition for certification or decertification is filed, the petitioner shall submit evidence that the petition is supported by 30% of the employees. (Code of Maryland Regulations § 14.32.03.03).

    Per Md. Labor and Employment Code Ann. § 4-220(b) (2010): “Requirements for petition. -- A petition for decertification of an organization as bargaining representative for a bargaining unit:

    (1) shall be supported by at least 30% of the employees in the bargaining unit; and

    (2) may not be submitted within 1 year after certification of the bargaining representative as a result of a consent election.”

    A decertification petition is found here.

    Massachusetts

    Massachusetts law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative when “a petition filed by or on behalf of a substantial number of the employees in a unit alleg[es] that the exclusive representative therefor no longer represents a majority of the employees therein, shall investigate, and if it has reasonable cause to believe that a substantial question of representation exists, shall provide for an appropriate hearing upon due notice. (General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 150E § 4).
    A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission (MLRC) on a form prescribed by the Commission, available here.

    The MLRC’s regulations covering decertification when a petition is filed by a “substantial number of employees” are at 456 Code of Massachusetts Regulations § 14.04.

    Michigan

    Michigan law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “a public employee or group of public employees . . . alleg[es] that 30% or more of the public employees within a unit . . . assert that the individual or labor organization, which is certified or is being currently recognized by their public employer as the bargaining representative, is no longer a [majority] representative.” Mich. Compiled Laws Annotated § 423.212. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) on a form prescribed by the Commission, available here, (click on "Petition for Representation Proceedings"), accompanied by a 30% showing of interest.

    If a collective bargaining agreement covers employees of a public school district or a public educational institution, and the agreement expires between June 1 and September 30; then the decertification petition covering those employees may be filed between January 2 and March 31 of the year the collective bargaining agreement expires or the third year of collective bargaining agreements lasting longer than three years. Michigan Compiled Laws § 423.214. For further rules covering decertification, including when such a petition may be filed, see MERC Rules 423.141 and 423.145.

    For rules covering decertification, including when such a petition may be filed, see MERC rules 423.141 and 423.145.

    The petition or cards signed by bargaining unit employees to establish the 30% must state that they “no longer consider the certified bargaining unit representative as their representative,” not just that they request an election. Hepler v. State Dept. of Labor, 235 N.W.2d 161 (Mich. Ct. App. 1975).

    Minnesota

    Minnesota law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative: “[a]n individual employee or group of employees in a unit may obtain a decertification election upon petition to the commissioner stating the certified representative no longer represents the majority of the employees in an established unit and that at least 30 percent of the employees wish to be unrepresented.” Minnesota Statutes Annotated § 179A.12, subd. 3. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) on a form prescribed by the Bureau, available here and accompanied by valid deauthorization cards signed and dated by at least 30% of the employees included within the appropriate unit (see sample at the above link). Click here for more information.

    Missouri

    Missouri law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative: “[a] petition for decertification of public employee representative may be filed by any employee or group of employees or any individual acting on their behalf alleging that the certified or currently voluntarily recognized employee representative is no longer the majority representative of such employees.” 8 Missouri Code of State Regulations § 40-2.020. A petition for decertification election must be presented to the Missouri State Board of Mediation on a form prescribed by the Board, available here and accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. The rules covering decertification are 8 Missouri Code of State Regulations §§ 40-2.020 and 40-2.040.

    Montana

    Montana law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if a petition has been filed: “by an employee or group of employees . . . alleging that 30% of the employees . . . assert that the labor organization which has been certified or is currently being recognized by the public employer as bargaining representative is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the unit,” and if “[t]he board or an agent of the board . . . has reasonable cause to believe that a question of representation exists, it shall provide for an appropriate hearing . . . in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed by the board . . . .” Montana Code Annotated § 39-31-207. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Montana Board of Personnel Appeals, on a form prescribed by the Board, available here and accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. See Montana Administrative Rules 24.26.643--645, 647 and 649, which detail the Board’s rules covering decertification, including when such a petition may be filed. The Board of Personnel Appeals may refuse to hold a decertification election if unfair labor practice charges are pending against the employer. State ex rel. Bd. of Personnel Appeals v. District Court, 183 Mont. 223, 598 P.2d 1117 (1979).
    Click here for more information.

    Nebraska

    Nebraska law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative: “[t]he commission shall determine questions of representation for purposes of collective bargaining for and on behalf of employees and shall make rules and regulations for the conduct of elections to determine the exclusive collective-bargaining agent for employees, except that in no event shall a contract between an employer and an exclusive collective-bargaining agent act as a bar for more than three years to any other party seeking to represent employees, nor shall any contract bar for more than three years a petition by employees seeking an election to revoke the authority of an agent to represent them.” Nebraska Revised Statutes § 48-838. The petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations according to Rule 9 of the Rules of the Commission of Industrial Relations, and accompanied by a 30% showing of interest, according to Rule 10 of the Rules of the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations. For petition requirements, see Rule 6.

    Nevada

    Nevada law permits local government employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. If “the board in good faith doubts whether any employee organization is supported by a majority of the local government employees in a particular bargaining unit, it may conduct an election by secret ballot upon the question.” (Nevada Revised Statutes Annotated § 288.160, subdivision 4)

    New Hampshire

    New Hampshire law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “a petition is filed by [a]t least 30 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit . . . asserting that the employee organization which has been certified by the board is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the bargaining unit.” New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated § 273-A:10. An identical provision pertains to dog and horse racing employees, see New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated § 273-C:10. The petition for a decertification election must be presented to the New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB) on a form prescribed by the Board, available here accompanied by a 30% showing of interest by employees who have signed a decertification signature card, which can be found here. For additional information on decertification, see PELRB’s website.

    New Jersey

    New Jersey law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if there is “a showing of interest of not less than 30 per cent of the employees in the unit in which an exclusive representative has been recognized or certified. A showing of interest shall indicate that the employees no longer desire to be represented for purposes of collective negotiations by the recognized or certified employee representative or by any other employee representative.” New Jersey Administrative Code § 19:11-1.3. A petition for decertification must be presented to the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) on a form prescribed by the Commission, available here, accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. For additional information, see PERC’s rules covering decertification.

    Note, however, that for one year after certification of a majority representative, its majority status is conclusively presumed so as to bar the filing of any petition . . . seeking decertification of the present one. Galloway Township Bd. of Educ. v. Galloway Township Ass’n of Educational Secretaries, 78 N.J. 1, 393 A.2d 207 (1978).

    New Mexico

    New Mexico law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “thirty percent of the public employees in the appropriate bargaining unit make a written request to the board or local board . . ..” New Mexico Statutes Annotated § 10-7E-16(A). A decertification election will be valid if forty percent of the eligible employees in the bargaining unit vote in the election. New Mexico Statutes Annotated § 10-7E-16 (A) . A written request for a decertification election must be presented to either a local board if it exists or the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board at 2929 Coors N.W., Suite 303, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Telephone (505) 660-1338.

    New York

    New York law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative: “a petition alleging that an employee organization which has been certified or is being currently recognized should be deprived of representation status as to all or part of a unit (hereinafter called a petition for decertification), may be filed by one or more public employees . . . .” New York Civil Service Rules & Regulations § 201.2. A decertification election petition must be presented to the New York Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) on a form prescribed by the Board, available here and accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. PERB’s rules covering decertification, including when such a petition may be filed are New York Civil Service Rules & Regulations §§ 201.3 & 201.5. (Note: click on “201 Determination of Representation Status Under § 207 of the Act”.)

    Ohio

    Ohio law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “a petition is filed, in accordance with rules prescribed by the state employment relations board . . . [by] any employee or group of employees, or any individual or employee organization acting in their behalf, alleging that at least thirty per cent of the employees in an appropriate unit . . . assert[] that the designated exclusive representative is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the unit.” “[T]he board shall investigate the petition, and if it has reasonable cause to believe that a question of representation exists, provide for an appropriate hearing upon due notice to the parties.” Ohio Revised Code Annotated § 4117.07(A)(1). A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Ohio State Employment Relations Board (SERB) on a form prescribed by the Board, available here, accompanied by at least 50% showing of interest.

    Oklahoma

    Oklahoma law permits school employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. If “[i]n any February more than two (2) years after recognition of an organization pursuant to the provisions of this section and upon the receipt of a petition calling for discontinuation of representation signed by thirty-five percent (35%) of the employees eligible to be included in the unit, [then] a local board shall call an election to determine whether the members of a unit wish to discontinue being represented for bargaining.” Oklahoma Statutes Annotated Title 70, § 509.2.C.7. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the local board of education.

    Oklahoma law permits police and firefighters to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative if “a petition is filed . . . alleging that thirty percent (30%) of the fire fighters or police officers in a municipality . . . assert that the designated exclusive employee representative is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the unit.” Oklahoma Statutes Annotated Title 11, § 51-103. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Oklahoma Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), accompanied by a 30% showing of interest, on forms available here. (Note: click on title of the form and document will load). Decertification cards can be found here. PERB Rules 585:15-3-1 through 585:15-3-9, which are available here, cover decertification, including when to file such a petition.

    Oregon

    Oregon law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative, if “[a]n employee or group of employees alleging that 30 percent of the employees assert that the designated exclusive representative is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the unit.” Oregon Revised Statutes Annotated § 243.682. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB), on a form prescribed by the Board, available here accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. ERB’s rules covering decertification are Oregon Administrative Rules 115-025-0000(c) and 115-025-0010(3) (Note: click on “115 Employment Relations Board,” scroll and click on “Public Employee Representation”).

    Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. “[A] public employe or a group of public employes may file a petition for decertification provided it is supported by a thirty per cent showing of interest.” Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated Title 43 § 1101.607. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board on either a form for public employees, available here. (For Public Employee Petitions: Click on “Petition Under the Public Employee Relations Act: Form PERA-4; For Police/Fire and Private Sector Petitions, click on Petition Police/Fire and Private Sector: Form PERA-13).

    Rhode Island

    Rhode Island law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. “[W]henever it is alleged by an employee or his or her representative that there is a question or controversy concerning the representation of employees, the board shall investigate the question or controversy. . . .” General Laws of Rhode Island Annotated § 28-7-16 . The Rhode Island Labor Relations Board Rules and Regulations § 8.06.1(a), Petition for Decertification, states: “[a] petition may be filed by either employees, an employer, or a rival labor organization to displace or decertify a certified or recognized labor organization.”

    A petition for decertification election must be presented to the Rhode Island Labor Relations Board on a form prescribed by the Board, available here (click on “FORMS” then “Petition for the Investigation of Controversies as to Representation”), accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. The Board Rules and Regulations § 8.06.1(e) states: “[w]hen thirty (30) percent or more of the employees in a bargaining unit covered by an agreement between their employer and a labor organization requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment file a petition alleging that they desire that the authority of the labor organization to make such an agreement be rescinded, the Board’s Agent shall conduct a secret ballot of the employees in such unit and certify the results . . . .”

    South Dakota

    South Dakota law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. “When a question concerning the representative of employees is raised by the . . . employees, the department of labor . . . shall, at the request of any of the parties, investigate such question and certify to the parties in writing, the name or names of the representatives that have been designated or selected. The filing of a petition for the investigation or certification of a representative of employees by any of the parties shall constitute a question within the meaning of this section. In any such investigation, the department may provide for an appropriate hearing, and shall take a secret ballot of employees to ascertain such representatives for the purposes of formal recognition.” South Dakota Codified Laws § 3-18-5. A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the South Dakota Department of Labor—Division of Labor and Management on a form available at this link.

    Tennessee

    Tennessee law permits education professionals to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative when “the board of education and the recognized professional employees’ organization are presented with petitions bearing the signatures of a majority of the professional employees in the negotiating unit indicating they no longer desire to be represented by the recognized organization.” “[A]n election committee shall be established according to the provisions of section 49-5-605, and the election committee shall conduct a decertification election.” Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-5-607(a). The decertification petition must be presented to the board of education’s election committee who will conduct an election. Also, there appears to be a fee assessed when a decertification election is requested: “Those persons requesting a decertification election shall be assessed by the chair of the election committee an amount adequate to pay for conducting the election.” Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-5-607(c). Pursuant to this section, a decertification election may be held at any time, and continued negotiations are not required during the pendency of decertification proceedings (Sullivan County Education Asso. v. May, 605 S.W.2d 823, 1980 Tenn. App.).

    Vermont

    Vermont law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. If a petition is filed with the Vermont Labor Relations Board (VLRB) in accordance with procedures and regulations prescribed by the Board, wherein an employee alleges that the individual or employee organization currently certified as bargaining agent is no longer supported by a majority of the state employees in the bargaining unit, then the Board shall investigate and provide for a hearing. Vermont Statutes Annotated Title 3, § 941(c)(1) (state employees); Vermont Statutes Annotated Title 21, § 1581(a)(1)(B); Vermont Statutes Annotated Title 21, § 1724 (municipal employees). A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Board on a form prescribed by the Board, available here (see drop down menu) accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. The VLRB Rules of Practice covering decertification are §§ 23.1, 23.4, 23.5, 23.6. Click here to see a case law summary regarding decertification in Vermont.

    Washington

    Washington law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. When an employee seeking decertification of his/her exclusive bargaining representative presents evidence demonstrating that at least 30% of the employees in the bargaining unit are in support of the decertification petition, the Washington Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) will conduct a secret ballot election. Washington Revised Code Annotated §§ 41.76.020(3); 41.59.070(4). A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the PERC on a form prescribed by the Commission, available here, accompanied by a 30% showing of interest. See Washington Administrative Code §§ 391-25-070(6)(c); 391-25-010; and 391-25-030 for PERC rules covering decertification, including when to file such a petition. For more information, click here.

    West Virginia
    West Virginia law allows a decertification vote allowed upon filing of interest with the board by 30% or more of the employees in a bargaining unit. (W.Va. Code § 21-1A-5(d))

    Wisconsin

    Wisconsin law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify an exclusive bargaining representative. “If a petition is filed . . . for the discontinuance of existing representation indicating a showing of interest by 30% of the total number of employees . . . , the commission should hold an election . . . .” Wisconsin Statutes Annotated § 111.83(5)(h). A petition for a decertification election must be presented to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commissions (WERC) on a form prescribed by the Commission, available here, accompanied by a 30% showing of interest.

    Wyoming

    Wyoming law permits firefighters to withdraw recognition of their exclusive bargaining representative. “The organization selected by the majority of the fire fighters in any city, town or county shall be recognized as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for all of the members of the department, unless and until recognition of such bargaining agent is withdrawn by vote of a majority of the fire fighters.” Wyoming Statutes Annotated § 27-10-103.

    Puerto Rico
    PR St. T. 3 § 1451(i): Public service employees have the right to decertify any exclusive representative by the Commission, by submitting a petition with attesting evidence that they have the support of at least thirty percent (30%) of the unit’s employees.

    Virgin Islands
    Public employees have the right to an election for decertification of a labor organization, which shall be conducted whenever 30% or more of the members of a bargaining unit petition the PERB for such an election. 24 V.I.C. § 372(b).


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