Published Date: 11/03/2014
By Persis Swift
How familiar are you with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)? Do you have enough knowledge of the act to guarantee that your organization won’t make costly mistakes regarding your employees?
According to nlrb.gov, the NLRA was enacted by congress in 1935 “…to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices…” Keeping up with the decisions based on interpretations of the act can be challenging. However, all employers should be familiar with the NLRA and know how related rulings affect their organization.
Here are three things all employers should know about the NLRA:
Not Just for Unions
Think the NLRA won’t affect you because there are no unions at your organization? Wrong! The NLRA is applicable to most private and non-profit employers whether they have a union presence or not (there are some exceptions). Because the NLRA affects most companies, it’s important to be aware of the most recent rulings dealing with the act.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) enforces the NLRA. Five members, appointed by presidents, make up the board. Their jobs are to review the unfair labor practices they receive from unions or employees, and make decisions or rulings on the cases they investigate. The board analyzes the NLRA to determine its decisions. Though the group can’t change the elements in the NLRA, it can change how the law is interpreted and used.
Decisions from the Board are Law
Rulings made by the board have the effect of law, and board decisions can change often. Past rulings do not set precedents as they do in actual courts of law, so reverse rulings of decisions made by previous boards are not uncommon. For employers, this means that employment and labor law constantly changes.
Make sure your organization stays informed to avoid actions that may violate federal or state laws. You can receive more information on the NLRB and its most recent decisions at the 2014 Triad Employment Law Update on November 14 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro. Please visit www.capital.org/triadlaw to register and review the full agenda for the conference.