Labor Center

Workers' Rights

Labor Center Reports

Workers' Rights Overview

Workers' Rights Resources

Workers' Rights Resources

Know Your Rights Resources


Recommended Books, Articles and Reports

Extended Bibliography

Know Your Rights Resources

The Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center
The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center is a nonprofit, legal services organization assisting California’s low-income working families. Its website includes facts sheets and self-help tools, links to many other resources, and information about its Workers Rights Clinics, which operate in three locations throughout the Bay Area and also offer counseling by telephone for people who are unable to attend the clinics in-person.

AFL-CIO Guides
The national AFL-CIO website includes helpful "know your rights" guides and materials on how employers can legally react to worker efforts to form a union, as well as information on health and safety, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, paid overtime and leave.

NLRB Brochure for Workers
This brochure provides basic information on the NLRB and how it works. In English and Spanish.

It's Your Right to Organize!
A good quick resource on worker rights to organize under the National Labor Relations Act from the United Electrical Workers.

Organizing Campaigns
Website from the United Steelworkers union providing tools for organizing campaigns and information on workers’ rights during campaigns.

Know Your Rights
A quick overview of workers' rights to organize under the National Labor Relations Act, designed for ILWU members.

Organize Your Workplace
A quick overview of why and how to organize a union from the Communications Workers of America.

Can My Boss Do That?
Work rules, hiring and firing, work safety, pay, benefits, time off, and workers' rights are all concerns addressed on this new website designed to ensure that all workers are treated justly. A project of Interfaith Worker Justice.

Workplace Fairness Rights Database
A terrific online interactive database on workers rights, covering hiring, termination, discrimination, harassment, pay and hours, health and safety, unemployment insurance, and other rights.'s Employee Rights in the Workplace
A accessible and comprehensive online resource for basic info on employment laws, covering such issues as discrimination, health and safety, fair play, privacy, and other topics.

Guide to Labor and Employment Laws for Migrant Workers in the United States
Answers to many questions migrant workers in the US might have. Much of the information is relevant to all U.S. workers. Produced by the Secretariat of the Commission for Labor Cooperation, an International Organization created under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation.

The Rights of Non-Standard Workers: A North American Guide
Includes information for workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Produced by the Secretariat of the Commission for Labor Cooperation, an International Organization Created under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation.

Rights of Federal Employees Facing Workplace Discrimination
From Workplace Fairness, a short guide explaining the process of filing a discrimination claim for federal employees.

Rights of Federal Employees Facing Disciplinary Action/Suspension
From Workplace Fairness, this guide explains the process of appealing a suspension or termination for federal employees.

ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principle and Rights at Work
The full text of the International Labor Organization’s document on workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. Visit the ILO website at

Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention (Convention No. 98)
This page includes the full text of Convention (No. 98) concerning the "Application of the Principles of the Right to Organize and to Bargain Collectively" adopted by the International Labour Organization, 1949.


The newly revised website of national labor umbrella federation has all sorts of good information on organizing unions and fighting for equality.

American Rights at Work
American Rights at Work is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the climate in which workers can exercise their rights in the workplace. This is the most comprehensive site on workers rights to organize a union; it includes legislative updates, case studies, background materials, and links to research and resources.

California Labor Federation
Resource page of The California Labor Federation, an organization made up of more than 1,200 AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions in California.

The Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center
The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center is a nonprofit, legal services organization assisting California’s low-income working families.

National Employment Law Project
Based in New York, NELP is one of the nation's most active nonprofit legal advocacy groups committed to labor issues, with a focus on organizing among immigrant workforces and nonstandard industries. Website has extensive resource materials.

Workplace Fairness
San Francisco based Workplace Fairness is a nonprofit education and advocacy group allied with the National Labor Lawyers Association. Website includes useful "know your rights" information and other materials.

National Immigration Law Center
NILC is national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of low income immigrants and their families, including many programs focused on protecting immigrant workers' rights to organize unions.

Pride at Work
Pride at Work is an official constituency group of the AFL-CIO. It seeks to mobilize mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community around organizing for social and economic justice. It also seeks full equality for LGBT Workers in their workplaces and unions.

California Public Employee Relations
CPRE, based at UC Berkeley, is dedicated to providing research and education for workers and others concerned with work in the state's public sector.

U.S. Department of Labor
This government site includes extensive economic and statistical information on workers in the U.S., including some data sets on organizing and union representation.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Statistics and documents from the US government agency charged with tracking labor related issues.

Recommended Books, Articles and Reports

California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections, and Remedies
New and up-to-date 4th edition by David A. Rosenfeld, Miles E. Locker, and Nina G. Fendel, and published by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. A basic overview of the legal protections of workers under California and federal law, written in understandable language, designed for use by workers and those who represent them.

Hey, The Boss Called Me Into the Office: The Weingarten Decision and the Right to Representation on the Job
From the UC Berkeley Labor Center, written by Steve Diamond, Kirsten Snow Spalding, and Lisa M. Vanderford-Anderson. An overview of this important supreme decision on workers' right to have a union representative present during meetings with management. Read an excerpt online.

The Rights of Employees and Union Members
From the American Civil Liberties Union. A survey of basic rights of both union and non-union workers answers common employment-related questions in a clearly written and easy to understand question-and-answer format.

The Rights of Public Employees
From the American Civil Liberties Union, written by Robert M. O'Neil. An overview of public sector workers' rights to organize under federal law in a Q&A format.

Pocket Guide to the Basics of Labor Relations
From the California Public Employee Relations, written by Rhonda Albey. An excellent pocket guide for union representatives and others on such issues as state laws that regulate labor relations; the language of labor relations; typical contract language; how to handle grievances; and other issues.

Worker Rights in America: What Workers Think About Their Jobs And Employers
Report by the AFL-CIO, 2001, based on a commissioned poll.

Free and Fair? How Labor Law Fails U.S. Democratic Election Standards
By Gordon Lafer for American Rights at Work, 2005, this report investigates how current union election procedures measure up to U.S. democratic standards.

Unfair Advantage: Workers' Freedom of Association in the United States under International Human Rights Standards
By Human Rights Watch, 2000.

The Silent War: The Assault of Workers' Freedom to Choose a Union and Bargain Collectively in the United States
AFL-CIO Issue Brief, September 2005

Undermining the Right to Organize: Employer Behavior During Union Representation Campaigns
Report examines the legal and illegal tactics utilized by employers to stymie organizing campaigns, drawing from surveys and case studies of dozens of union drives.

Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid - And What We Can Do About It
By Kim Bobo, founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, 2008. Every year billions of dollars' worth of wages are stolen from millions of workers in the United States through such practices as paying workers less than the legal minimum wage, purposefully misclassifying employees as independent contractors, and illegally denying workers overtime pay. Bobo documents this crime wave, and offers concrete suggestions for fighting it.

Extended Bibliography

Alford, C. Fred (2001). Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

American Center for International Labor Solidarity (2008). Justice for All: A Guide to Worker Rights in the Global Economy.

Bivens, Josh and Christian Weller (2003). Rights Make Might: Ensuring Workers’ Rights as a Strategy for Economic Growth. Issue Brief #192. Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute.

Brody, David (2001, Spring). What Next for Labor Rights? Dissent, 18-22.

Brody, David (1998 Fall/Winter). A Question of Rights. New Labor Forum, 129-135.

Brody, David (1997 Summer). Labor Elections: Good for Workers? Dissent, 71-77.

Bronfenbrenner, Kate (2009, May 20). No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing. EPI Briefing Paper #235. Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute.

Bronfenbrenner, Kate (2001). Uneasy Terrain: The Impact of Capital Mobility on Workers, Wages, and Union Organizing. Part II: First Contract Supplement. U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission.

Bronfenbrenner, Kate (1997 January). The Role of Union Strategies in NLRB Certification Elections. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 50(2).

Bronfenbrenner, Kate (1997). The Effect of Plant Closings and the Threat of Plant Closings on Worker Rights to Organize. Supplement to Plant Closings and Workers Rights: A Report to the Council of Ministers by the Secretariat of the Commission for Labor Cooperation. Dallas, TX: Bernan Press.

Bronfenbrenner, Kate (1994). Employer Behavior in Certification Elections and First-Contract Campaigns: Implications for Labor Law Reform. In Friedman, Sheldon et al. (eds.), Restoring the Promise of American Labor Law. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 75-89.

Bronfenbrenner, Kate and Tom Juravich (1995). The Impact of Employer Opposition on Union Certification Win Rates: A Private/Public Sector Comparison. Working Paper No 113. Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute .

Estlund, Cynthia (2002). The Ossification of American Labor Law. Columbia Law Review, 102(6), 1527-1612.

Freeman, Richard (1985). Why are Unions Faring Poorly in NLRB Representation Elections? In Kochan, Thomas A. (ed.) Challenges and Choices Facing American Labor. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 45-64.

Freeman, Richard B. and Morris Kleiner (1990 April). Employer Behavior in the Face of Union Organizing Drives. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 43(4), 351-365.

Freeman, Richard and Joel Rogers (1999). What Workers Want. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Friedman, Sheldon, Richard W. Hurd, Rudolph A. Oswald and Ronald L. Seeber (eds.) (1994). Restoring the Promise of American Labor Law, Ithaca, NY: ILR Press.

Hurd, Richard W. (1998). Fear, Conflict and Union Organizing. In Kate Bronfenbrenner, et. al. (eds.), Organizing to Win: New Research on Union Strategies, Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, pp. 181-196.

Juravich, Tom and Kate Bronfenbrenner (1998). Preparing for the Worst: Organizing and Staying Organized in the Public Sector. In Bronfenbrenner, Kate et al. (eds.), Organizing to Win: New Research on Union Strategies. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, pp. 262-282.

Kaufman, Bruce E. and Paula E. Stephan (1995 Fall). The Role of Management Attorneys in Union Organizing Campaigns. Journal of Labor Research, 16(4), 447.

Klare, Karl E. (1997). Labor Law for the 21st Century: Stalled Reform in the United States. 1 Law, Democracy &

Logan, John (2002). Consultants, Lawyers and the ‘Union Free' Movement in the USA, 1970-2000. Industrial Relations Journal, 3(3).

Masson, Elizabeth J. (2004). ‘Captive Audience’ Meetings in Union Organizing Campaigns: Free Speech or Unfair Advantage?  Hastings Law Journal, 56(1).

Roth, Kenneth (2002). Testimony before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, June 20, 2002, hearing on "Workers' Freedom of Association: Obstacles to Forming Unions.

Roth, Kenneth (2001). Workers' Rights in the United States. Industrial Relations Research Association, Perspectives on Work, 5(1), 19-20.

Sack, Steven M. (2000). The Employee Rights Handbook: The Essential Guide for People on the Job.  New York: Warner Business Books.

Shaiken, Harley (2004). The High Road to a Competitive Economy: A Labor Law Strategy. Center for American Progress.

St. Antoine, Theodore. (1995). Federal Regulation of the Workplace in the Next Half Century. 61 Chicago Kent Law Review 631.

Summers, Clyde W. (1998). Questioning the Unquestioned in Collective Labor Law. Catholic University Law Review 47, 791-823.

Weiler, Paul (1983). Promises to Keep: Securing Workers' Rights to Self-Organizing Under the NLRA. Harvard Law Review, 96 (8), 1769-1827.

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