NLRA: What you need to know

The NLRA (also known as the Wagner Act) promotes collective bargaining between labor and management and ensures workers the right to organize and join a union without fear of reprisal. The Act preempts, or trumps, state law claims that are based on conduct that is protected or prohibited by the NLRA. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) [was created to enforce the Act (29 USC Sec. 151et seq.).
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Several laws have amended the original act. The Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 (also known as the Taft-Hartley Act) added unfair practices by unions to the list of forbidden practices contained in the original Act (29 USC 141et seq.). The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) (also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act) required reporting and disclosure on financial and other matters by both unions and employers (29 USC 501et seq.).
The NLRA applies to private employers engaged in interstate commerce that meet the following criteria:
• Retail concerns that have a $500,000 gross volume year
• Public utilities with a gross volume of $250,000 per year
• Nonretail business with a gross volume of $50,000 per year
The Act covers all employees except for agricultural laborers, domestic servants, individuals employed by a parent or spouse, independent contractors, supervisors, individuals employed by an employer subject to the Railway Labor Act, and government employees. The Act also covers employment at casinos operated by Native American tribes on reservations ( San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino v. NLRB, 475 F.3d 1306 (D.C. Cir. 2007)). Thus, the NLRB’s jurisdiction is very broad and covers the great majority of nongovernment employers, including nonprofits, employee-owned ...

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