Union and Protected Concerted Activity

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

Does the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) apply to my business?

1. Am I covered by the NLRA?

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) jurisdiction is limited to most private-sector employers and the U.S. Postal Service; other than Postal Service employees, it has no authority over labor relations disputes involving governmental, railroad and airline employers covered by the Railway Labor Act, or employees that fall into agricultural and domestic worker exceptions. 

2. My employees are not unionized – does the NLRA even apply?

Yes. Most employees who are not represented by a union also have rights under the NLRA. Specifically, the NLRA protects the rights of employees to engage in “protected concerted activity,” which is when two or more employees take action for their mutual aid or protection regarding terms and conditions of employment. Individual employees may also engage in protected concerted activity if they are acting on the authority of other employees, bringing group complaints to the employer’s attention, trying to initiate, or seeking to prepare for group action, or acting in a manner that is inherently concerted. 

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Need more information?

The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors are a set of online tools developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under federal employment laws.