Your Rights

Your Rights

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a federal law that guarantees your rights as a worker. The NLRA also established the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB conducts elections for labor union representation and investigates unfair labor practices. Section 7 of the Act states that:

”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…"

This means:

  • You have the legal right to help organize and to participate in a union
  • To sign a union authorization card, urge others to sign cards, attend union meetings, wear union buttons, distribute union literature and converse about unions with other employees
  • You have the right to negotiate or bargain as a group with your employer for a mutually agreed contract

It does not permit:

  • You to pursue union activities during working hours

The NLRA forbids employers from interfering with, restraining, or coercing (forcing) employees from exercising their rights to organize, form, join or assist a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes. Examples of unlawful employer conduct include:

  • Threatening employees with job or benefits loss if they join or vote for a union
  • Threatening to close a plant or business workplace if employees engage union representation
  • Questioning employees about union activities that tend to interfere with the employees’ rights under the Act
  • Promising benefits to discourage employee union support
  • Terminating, laying off, transferring, assigning more difficult work, or punishing employees for engaging in a union
  • Terminating, laying off, transferring, assigning more difficult work or punishing employees for filing an unfair labor practice charge or participating in an investigation conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)