As we have written here many times, most private sector employers (over 90%) are not unionized and often don’t consider that their employees may have rights under the labor laws that protect them from termination, discipline, or discrimination.
Specifically, section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives employees the right to engage in “protected” and “concerted” activity for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. In other words, if employees communicate with each other about wages or working conditions, or take action to change or improve them, they cannot be terminated, disciplined, or discriminated against because of it.
Last week the NLRB launched a web site dedicated to promoting protected concerted activity. The site promotes the agency’s efforts in recent years to litigate protected and concerned activity complaints, and specifically notes that employees have these rights even if they are not in a union.
While nothing in the web site is factually incorrect, it unfortunately is one more step in the NLRB’s march from a neutral agency that enforces the law to an advocate for the rights of employees against employers. From mandating employer posters, trying to change election rules to favor employees (both of which have been struck down by courts) and cracking down on employer social media policies, the NLRB’s credibility as a agency that fairly enforces the law is in serious jeopardy.