What is the Railway Labor Act (RLA)?

Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, XpertHR Legal Editor

The RLA is a federal law that regulates labor relations between employees and carriers in the railway and airline industries and those companies directly or indirectly controlled by, or under common control with, a railway or airline carrier.

The RLA provides railway and airline employees the right to organize a union and to engage in collective bargaining with the carrier (the employer). The National Mediation Board is the primary agency charged with administration and enforcement of the RLA and provides mediation services in the event of a dispute.