Employment Law -- Employee
What is the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA)?
Four major historical statutes make up what is now known as the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA). The cornerstone of the LMRA provides that protected employees shall have the right to form and join unions and bargain collectively.
Such employees can engage in concerted activities for their mutual aid or protection. Employees shall also have the right to refrain from unions unless already represented by a union and subject to a union shop provision. The LMRA further provides which actions or inactions will constitute an unfair labor practice by employer and union. The LMRA establishes the process of elections (conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, NLRB), to determine the desires of the employees for representation, and outlines the NLRB`s powers.
Generally, the LMRA covers the private sector. Government agencies are excluded. Two exceptions are national banks and mail contractors. Because of this, states have established various labor laws for the public sector. The LMRA does not apply to independent contractors, because they are not considered employees. The LMRA also excludes supervisors and managerial employees under the definitions of the Act, as well as agricultural employees.
What Administrative Body May Impose Remedies For A Violation Of The Labor Management Relations Act?
Because the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) was enacted to maintain industrial peace for the benefit of the public, enforcement is geared to be more remedial in nature than punitive. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has the jurisdiction, but must enforce its decisions and injunctions through the federal courts. Courts have given great discretion and latitude to the NLRB in its interpretations of the Act.
The NLRA is a federal law that grants employees the right to form or join unions; engage in protected, concerted activities to address or improve working conditions; or refrain from engaging in these activities
The NLRA applies to most private sector employers, including manufacturers, retailers, private universities, and health care facilities. The NLRA does not apply to federal, state, or local governments; employers who employ only agricultural workers; and employers subject to the Railway Labor Act (interstate railroads and airlines).
The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative.
Employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act are afforded certain rights to join together to improve their wages and working conditions, with or without a union. Employees have the right to attempt to form a union where none currently exists, or to decertify a union that has lost the support of employees.
Examples of employee rights include:
- Forming, or attempting to form, a union in your workplace;
- Joining a union whether the union is recognized by your employer or not;
- Assisting a union in organizing your fellow employees;
- Refusing to do any or all of these things.
- To be fairly represented by a union
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