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National Labor Relations Board Attorney Overview

Lawyer Representation in NLRB Cases

Employees in the United States have the right to act together for collective bargaining purposes, either as part of a union or separately, to negotiate with their employers regarding their compensation or their working conditions. When these rights are violated, employees should understand their options for pursuing relief.

If you are an employee who has been the victim of unlawful conduct by an employer or union, you should work with an employment law attorney to determine how to proceed. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and the procedures you should follow when filing charges.

The National Labor Relations Board

Relations between private-sector employers and unions, or between employers and groups of employees who bargain without a union, are governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which is administered by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB can help employees with:

  • Investigating charges of unfair labor practices - Employees, employers, or unions may file charges with the NLRB, which will investigate the allegations, determine whether there is evidence to support the charges, assist in reaching a resolution, and seek remedies or issue injunctions.
  • Reaching settlements between employers and employees - The NLRB works with parties to resolve disputes through settlement rather than litigation. The Board's staff members draft proposed settlement agreements to provide remedies for unfair labor practices, and if the parties agree, settlements may be issued as an Informal Board Settlement or a Formal Board Settlement. In some cases, parties may choose to use alternative dispute resolution to reach a settlement.
  • Deciding cases which do not settle - If a settlement cannot be reached, the NLRB will issue a complaint, and cases will typically be heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). These hearings are similar to court proceedings, and they may include arguments, evidence, witnesses, and expert testimony, with the end result being a decision made by the ALJ. Parties may appeal unfavorable decisions to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • Conducting union elections - Employees who wish to form or join a union must submit an election petition to the NLRB. The Board will investigate to determine whether there are any issues preventing the union from being formed, and an election will be held in which employees will decide whether to recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining representative with their employer.

If you are an employee who has experienced unfair labor practices, such as unlawful disciplinary actions, promises from an employer in return for discouraging union membership, refusal by an employer to bargain with a union, or refusal by a union to bargain in good faith on behalf of employees, an experienced labor law attorney can help you understand your options for filing charges with the NLRB. A skilled lawyer can work to protect your rights and help you reach a positive outcome to your case.

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