National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

What does NLRA stand for?
The acronym NLRA stands for the National Labor Relations Act. 

 

What is the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?
The National Labor Relations Act, enacted by Congress in July of 1935, is a piece of legislation intended to protect employer and employee rights, protect workers, businesses, and the economy by preventing harmful practices, and encourage bargaining. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was amended about a decade later in 1947 by the Labor Management Relations Act, also referred to as the Taft-Hartley Act. 

The main goals of the National Labor Relations Act are as follows:

  • To support collective bargaining
  • To define the rights of employers and employees
  • To defend the rights of employers and employees
  • To terminate processes that are harmful to the well-being of workers 

To achieve these goals, the National Labor Relations Act grants employees the following:

  • The right to bargain through chosen representatives
  • The right to collectively organize unions
  • The right to join unions
  • The right to go on strike
  • The right to not participate in activities for their union
  • The right to picket

According to the National Labor Relations Board, all employees are granted these rights except independent contractors, supervisors, agricultural workers, domestic servants, government employees, and individuals employed by wives, husbands, mothers, or fathers. 

The National Labor Relations Act also defines the following:

  • Procedures that allow employees to choose their representatives freely
  • Unfair labor practices of employers and unions 
  • Procedures for a secret-ballot election

 

Examples of actions that the National Labor Relations Act prohibits employers from doing are as follows:

  • Discriminating against employees based on their associations or affiliated union 
  • Bribing employees with benefits to not participate in union activities
  • Threatening employees for joining a union
  • Firing employees to send a message to other employees participating in union activities

Finally, some examples of actions that the National Labor Relation Act prevents unions from doing are as follows:

  • Treating members differently based on whether or not they pay dues
  • Engaging in specific strikes
  • Violently threatening employees to influence votes
  • Provoking racial or religious slander in relation to a campaign

It is the job of the National Labor Relations Board to enforce the rights granted to employers and employees by the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRA created the National Labor Relations Board with this intended purpose in mind. The National Labor Relations Board is not just responsible for enforcing the National Labor Relations Act. The National Labor Relations Board also certifies unions and conducts representation elections.

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