Who enforces the Railway Labor Act (RLA)?

Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, XpertHR Legal Editor

The National Mediation Board (NMB) is the primary federal agency charged with administering and enforcing the RLA. It oversees and investigates representation petitions and elections as well as mediates collective bargaining disputes between employees and railway and airline carriers.

In addition, the National Railway Adjustment Board, an NMB tribunal, hears and arbitrates grievances in the railway industry. Grievance arbitration in the airline industry is conducted by various System Boards of Adjustment, which are created jointly by labor and management at the parties' expense.