The National Labor Relations Act (the NLRA) is a federal law that, among other things, protects the rights of employees and encourages collective bargaining among employees for better terms and conditions at work. The NLRA also imposes a duty of fair representation which means that labor unions have an obligation to represent its employees fairly and without discrimination. Its New York state counterpart is the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL).
The National Labor Relations Act vs. The New York Human Rights Law
On July 25, 2017, in Figueroa v. Foster, the highest federal court in New York had to decide whether the NLRA preempts the NYSHRL for discrimination claims filed by a union member against a labor union when the labor union is acting as a collective bargaining representative. In other words, does the federal NLRA law take control over its state counterpart or can both the federal law and state law protect employees?