Overview: While the percentage of US workers that are unionized has been declining for years, the importance unions play for those they represent continues to be high. The management of labor relations is an important area of concern in the workplace. Both employers and employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) have rights and obligations regarding the unionization of employees. Some key concepts for employers include collective bargaining, lockout, strikes, unfair labor practice, protected concerted activity, right to work, and good faith bargaining - but there are many more!
Trends: Currently 24 states, mostly in the southern and western areas of the United States, are "Right to Work" states. Union organizing is more difficult in these states because they prohibit a union and an employer from reaching an agreement to require union membership and financial support in the form of dues as a condition of continuing employment.
Non-union employers should NOT be complacent that the NLRA or the NLRB don't apply to them. The NLRB has recently ruled in several broad areas, notably social media and employment-at-will disclaimers, which affect all workplaces, union and non-union alike.
Author: Melissa Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Revitalized and poised with a full Senate-confirmed quorum for the first time in a decade, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is making headlines for its aggressive and often controversial steps to remind union and non-union employers that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the rights of individuals to do much more than unionize.
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New guidance is available to help an employer determine whether activity engaged in by a union or non-union employee is protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the rights of employees to engage in "concerted activity for mutual aid or protection" to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions. Protected concerted activity includes, even in the absence of a union, activity by employees on behalf of co-workers or interacting with others to achieve a common goal.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) determination that an employer's confidentiality policy prohibiting employees from disclosing all company financial and personnel information was overly broad and in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the rights of an employee to organize and form a union in order to address issues regarding wages, hours and working conditions. An employee, even in the absence of a union, also has the right to engage in protected concerted activity- acting on behalf of co-workers or interacting with others for the legitimate furtherance of their common interests.
New guidance is available to help an employer understand what it may and may not do or say during the union campaign.
In a decision that may have widespread implications for college sports, a Regional Director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has determined that Northwestern University football players receiving scholarships are "employees" under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). As a result, the Regional Director directed an election to be conducted so that "all football players who receive football grant-in-aid scholarship and not having exhausted their playing eligibility" at Northwestern can vote whether they want to be represented by a union.
New guidance is available to help a multistate employer understand its responsibilities and obligations when managing union-related issues in "Right to Work" and "Non-Right to Work" states.
Employers may assume that all issues relating to union organization and collective bargaining will be governed by the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). However, the fact is that the NLRA has left certain union-related matters up to the states.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding the management of labor relations. Support and guidance on the ever growing field of labor law.