As an employee, certain state and federal laws protect you. While this might seem all-encompassing, whether you work in the public or private sector is a factor. For those working in the private sector, the National Labor Relations Act provides employees with the right to seek better working conditions as well as the designation of representation through a union without the fear of retaliation.
Thus, if an employee’s freedom of association is violated, this could evolve into a labor law issue. Therefore, it is important that employees not only understand their rights to collective bargaining but also recognize the legal steps available if these rights are infringed.
National Labor Relations Act
In simple terms, this law provides workers with full freedom of association. This means that workers have the right and protection to establish workplace democracy through collective bargaining and the designation of representation. The act also helps create protection against retaliation, which is often a cause for employees to not speak up about work conditions and pay.
With regards to collective bargaining, under the NLRB, employees can move forward, with or without a union, in efforts to secure better wages and working conditions. Employees have the right to do this without interference from the employer. This means that an employer cannot restrain or coerce employees while they are exercising their rights to organize, form or assisting a labor organization.
Along with the right to organize and discuss wages, employees also have the right under Section 7 of the NLRB to have representation during an investigatory interview. In other words, if an employee reasonably believe that the interview could lead to discipline, they have the right to request a representation from their labor organization to be present.
Labor laws can be complex. It is not always clear when, where and who they cover. Thus, if you believe that you are dealing with a labor issue concerning the NLRB or any other labor law, it is important to understand the legalities of the situation. This can better prepare you to take action to protect your rights as an employee.