Overview: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits employers and unions from engaging in numerous unlawful actions, known as unfair labor practices. Avoiding these unfair labor practices is part of the labor management process.
An employer commits an unfair labor practice if it:
A union commits an unfair labor practice if it:
Neither party can require a clause that discriminates against individuals on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability or any other category protected by law.
If a union or an employer believes that an unfair labor practice has been committed, it must file an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRA contains procedures for investigating, prosecuting, hearing, finding, dismissing, remedying and enforcing solutions to unfair labor practices filed with the NLRB.
Trends: All employees are guaranteed the right to engage in protected concerted activity whether or not they belong to a union.
This means they may work together to present an issue to their employer concerning their wages, benefits, or terms and conditions of employment and an employer may not terminate them for this activity. In the new age of social media, this has become an increasingly important protection.
Even though social media postings may be read by persons beyond an individual's co-workers, the posting still may constitute protected concerted activity under the NLRA.
The NLRB has also recently ruled employers may violate the NLRA with an across the board prohibition against the discussion of internal investigations with co-workers. While the need for confidentiality may be paramount (i.e., evidence is at risk of being destroyed or a witness needs protection), employers may now need to argue confidentiality was "necessary."
Author: Melissa Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
In a startling move, the National Labor Board Office of the General Counsel (OGC) has announced that it authorized complaints on 43 unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against McDonald's franchisees and determined that McDonald's, USA, LLC, the franchisor, will be named as a "joint employer." The OGC's intention to proceed with ULP charges against a parent franchisor to hold it responsible for the employment practices of its franchisees conflicts with a decades-old legal standard and may have far-reaching implications for the current franchise model.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) entered into a referral program in which OSHA agreed to refer time-barred whistleblower complaints regarding workplace safety to the NLRB for further investigation. The NLRB is likely to see a surge of safety-related ULPs as a result of this alliance with OSHA.
This podcast takes you inside the Supreme Court for coverage of the closely watched NLRB v. Noel Canning case. The stakes are high for employers because the case could place hundreds of NLRB rulings in doubt. Also featured is a conversation with XpertHR Legal Editor Melissa Boyce about other notable labor law issues to watch for in 2014.
In two recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions, employers that maintained restrictive dress code policies and/or disciplined employees for violating those policies committed an unfair labor practice under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Even though the Noel Canning decision regarding the NLRB's power to issue decisions is currently on its way to the US Supreme Court, the National Labor Relations Board continues to evaluate social media activity and whether or not such conduct is protected.
As mandated by the National Labor Relations Board, all employers must post NLRB Form 501 - Charge Against Employer.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to send a strong message to employers that the right of both union and nonunion employees to engage in protected concerted activity extends to social media communications.
An employer may not be clear on how a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision relates to a General Counsel Memo or to an appellate court decision under the National Labor Relations Act. This Quick Reference chart helps employers navigate the NLRB organization and enforcement process.
XpertHR's Retail Resource Center for HR: Labor Relations helps retail employers handle their most vexing employment issues by bringing relevant resources together in one place for easy access.
HR guidance and support on unfair labor practices including interfering with, coercing or restraining employees in the exercise of their NLRA rights.