NLRB Encouraging Nonunion Concerted Activities
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently launched a website aimed at educating nonunion workers about their rights to engage in concerted activities – that is, their rights to act together for mutual aid and protection. Although only about 5% of the NLRB’s recent caseload involved nonunion concerted activity, the Board is “actively seeking new cases as a means to educate employees about their rights and the availability of the Board's processes to remedy violations,” according to an analysis from Duane Morris, LLP.
The concerted-activity rights of nonunion employees derive from the “other concerted activities” clause of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA): “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all such activities.”
The new NLRB site contains descriptions of more than a dozen cases, chosen to show a variety of situations, including some involving the use of social media. In each case, the employees’ activities were found to be protected under federal labor law. “A right only has value when people know it exists,” the NLRB chairman said in a statement. “We think the right to engage in protected concerted activity is one of the best kept secrets of the National Labor Relations Act, and more important than ever in these difficult economic times. Our hope is that other workers will see themselves in the cases we’ve selected and understand that they do have strength in numbers.”
WeComply’s maintaining a cooperative workforce course trains managers on how to foster a respectful work environment so that employees may feel less compelled to join a union or engage in other concerted actions.Categories: Workplace Compliance
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