National Labor Relations Board

From Academic Kids

In the United States the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is a five-person appointed federal agency charged with conducting elections for labor union representation and with investigating and remedying unfair labor practices. The NLRB was established in 1935 through passage of the National Labor Relations Act, better known as the Wagner Act, and amended by the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947.

The Board's jurisdiction is limited to private sector employers; it has no authority over labor relations disputes involving governmental employees, or railroad and airline employees covered by the Railway Labor Act or agricultural employees. In those parts of the private sector it does cover, on the other hand, its jurisdictional standards are low enough to reach almost all employers whose business has any appreciable impact on interstate commerce.

The Taft-Hartley Act also created a formal administrative distinction between the Board and the General Counsel of the NLRB. In broad terms, the General Counsel is responsible for investigating and prosecuting unfair labor practice claims; the Board, on the other hand, is the adjudicative body that decides the unfair labor practice cases brought to it. While the General Counsel has limited independence to argue for a change in the law in presenting cases to the Board, once the Board has decided the issue it is the General Counsel's responsibility to defend the Board's decision, even if it is contrary to the position he advocated when presenting the case to the Board. The Board is also responsible for the administration of the Act's provisions governing the holding of elections and resolution of jurisdictional disputes.

The Board has more than thirty regional offices, which conduct elections, investigate unfair labor practice charges and make the initial determination whether to dismiss, settle or issue complaint on those charges. The Board has jurisdiction to hold elections and prosecute violations of the Act in Puerto Rico and American Samoa.

A predecessor organization, the National Labor Board, was established by the National Industrial Recovery Act in 1933, subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court.


1 External links

Election procedures

See NLRB election procedures

Unfair labor practices

See Unfair labor practice

Jurisdictional disputes

Section 10(k) of the NLRA also gives the Board the power to resolve jurisdictional disputes between an employer and a union or between two unions over which group of employees should perform disputed work. Most such disputes in the construction industry are referred to private adjustment systems, rather than to 10(k) proceedings.

These proceedings are tried before a Hearing Officer appointed by the Region, rather than an Administrative Law Judge of the Board. The legal standard applied in these cases makes the outcome a foregone conclusion in nearly every case, since the employer's preference is given nearly controlling weight as against contrary provisions in a collective bargaining agreement, considerations of efficiency or past practices.

External links

Further reading

"How To Take A Case Before The NLRB" by the Bureau of National Affairs (Seventh Edition) ISBN 1570181837


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