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Labor Relations Overview: Federal

Labor Relations Overview requirements by state

Author: Mark Goodwin, LeClairRyan


  • The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) sets out many important employee and employer protections. See National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act)
  • The earliest government intervention in the labor movement involved railroads. The NLRA addressed all industries in 1935, and it was amended further by the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947 and the Landrum-Griffin Act in 1959. It has not changed much since. See Evolution of Labor Legislation.
  • The NLRA today requires most employers to provide their employees with certain key rights. Whether an employer or supervisor is exempt from the NLRA has been heavily debated. See Employers Subject to NLRA.
  • The NLRA strictly prohibits employers from engaging in certain conduct that interferes, restrains, or coerces employees in the exercise of their rights. See Prohibited Employer Activity.
  • The prohibition on employer interference with concerted activity for mutual aid or protection has suddenly become a more critical protection than ever for employees in the new social media age of Facebook and Twitter. See Prohibited Employer Activity.
  • The NLRA provides important powers to the National Labor Relations Board to prevent unfair labor practices and to enforce the law. See The National Labor Relations Board.
  • The Railway Labor Act governs labor relations between employees and employers in the railway and airline industries. See The Railway Labor Act.

State Requirements

The following states have additional requirements for this topic under applicable state law.

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