Determine Whether an Employee Is Protected Under the National Labor Relations Act

Key Points

  • It is critical for employers to determine which employees are covered under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and thus have the right to form, vote and join a union as well as engage in protected concerted activity.
  • Employers must be aware that the NLRA offers protections to most employees, except agricultural laborers, domestic workers, family members, independent contractors and managers/supervisors.
  • In order to determine if an employee is a supervisor and thus not protected under the NLRA, an employer must see whether the individual has authority to "hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them." If an employee exercises independent judgment in any one of these functions, then the employee is considered a supervisor.

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