3 Reasons Non-Unionized Employers Can’t Ignore the National Labor Relations Act
When people think of the National Labor Relations Act (or the “NLRA,” for short), the image that most commonly comes to mind is that of a historic workers’ rights law enacted back in the 1930s to encourage the formation of labor unions and to assist the nation’s economic recovery from the Great Depression. They often assume that now, almost 100 years later with the existence of workers’ rights a foregone conclusion, the NLRA only has real-world application to those employers whose employees are members of a union.
Although it is true that the NLRA contains many provisions that govern the relationship between employers and trade unions, this does not mean that the NLRA does not impose obligations on employers with a non-unionized workforce. It absolutely does, and in many surprisingly modern ways, such as employee use of social media.
Non-unionized employers who do not consider the NLRA obligations when structuring their policies, practices and business relationships can find themselves defending against an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board (or the “NLRB,” for short), the agency tasked with interpreting and enforcing the NLRA. In a large number of cases, non-unionized employers appear before the NLRB for one of three reasons: