National Labor Relations Board

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National Labor Relations Board

(NLRB), independent agency of the U.S. government created under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (Wagner Act), and amended by the acts of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Labor ActTaft-Hartley Labor Act,
1947, passed by the U.S. Congress, officially known as the Labor-Management Relations Act. Sponsored by Senator Robert Alphonso Taft and Representative Fred Allan Hartley, the act qualified or amended much of the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act of
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) and 1959 (Landrum-Griffin ActLandrum-Griffin Act,
1959, passed by the U.S. Congress, officially known as the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. It resulted from hearings of the Senate committee on improper activities in the fields of labor and management, which uncovered evidence of collusion
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), which affirmed labor's right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choice or to refrain from such activities. The board of five members (appointed by the U.S. President with the approval of the Senate for five-year terms) is assisted by 33 regional directors. This board determines proper bargaining units, conducts elections for union representation, and investigates charges of unfair labor practices by employers. Unfair practices include interference, coercion, or restraint in labor's self-organizational rights; interference with the formation of labor unions; encouraging or discouraging membership in a union; and refusal to bargain collectively with a duly chosen employee representative. The NLRB does not have the power to consider cases involving real estate brokers, agricultural employees, domestic workers, family workers, government employees, and church-run schools.


The Wagner Act, which established the NLRB, was validated by the Supreme Court in 1937. The NLRB functioned during World War II, but labor relations were mainly handled by the National War Labor Board (WLB), which existed from 1942 until 1945. A 12-man body, with the public, management, and labor equally represented, the WLB soon shifted from arbitration to formulating policies.

With the passage in 1947 of the Taft-Hartley Labor Act (also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act), the NLRB was converted into a purely judicial body, with the prosecution of unfair labor practices transferred to a general counsel. The board's action was dependent upon the filing by the union chiefs of affidavits proving that they were not Communists and of complete financial data. The NLRB's field of investigation was extended to cover the following practices as unfair to employers: refusal to bargain collectively, coercing employers in the selection of their bargaining agency, persuading employers to discriminate against certain employees, and conducting secondary boycotts or jurisdictional strikes.

In 1959 the Taft-Hartley Labor Act was amended by the Landrum-Griffin Act (also known as the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act), which repealed the requirement that a union must file a non-Communist affidavit and a financial report in order to obtain a hearing before the NLRB. The act also gave the states permission to assume jurisdiction over cases that the NLRB declined, even when interstate commerce was involved. Organizational and recognition picketing (i.e., picketing of companies where another union is already recognized) were made unlawful, and the NLRB general counsel was required to seek an injunction against such picketing if a violation was proved.

The Landrum-Griffin Act also affected policies of the board. It banned secondary boycott pressures and, with some exceptions, outlawed so-called hot-cargo agreements (i.e., express or implied contracts that prevent employers from doing business with persons declared off limits by unions). The NLRB's power was subsequently extended to postal workers (1970) and private health care institutions (1974), but a number of court rulings have reduced the board's power. During the 1980s organized labor attacked the NLRB for being pro-employer.


See bibliography under labor lawlabor law,
legislation dealing with human beings in their capacity as workers or wage earners. The Industrial Revolution, by introducing the machine and factory production, greatly expanded the class of workers dependent on wages as their source of income.
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National Labor Relations Board

independent agency of U.S. government, supporting labor’s right to organize. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1887]
See: Labor
References in periodicals archive ?
A similar case was filed by the NLRB General Counsel's office earlier this year in federal court in Chicago seeking to prohibit the use of the inflated rat at a job site, but the matter is still pending.
senators who had questions about this development, Ring said that a majority of the NLRB is "committed to engage in rulemaking" and that it will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on joint employment "certainly by this summer." He noted that internal preparations are already under way and that the NLRB is working toward issuing the proposed rule.
As of now, two NLRB members the two Democratic appointees do not seem inclined to participate.
Today's decision confirms that the NLRB has become the 'Rip Van Winkle of administrative agencies.' Only a Board that has been asleep for the past 20 years could fail to recognize that e-mail has revolutionized communication both within and outside the workplace.
The NLRB's interpretation of the Hawkins County test for whether to assert jurisdiction over a labor dispute currently does not take into account the unique situation of charter schools.
Circuit recognized the quandary facing many employers: how are they supposed to comply with the seemingly conflicting dictates of the NLRB and other federal and state statutes, such as EEO and whistleblower statutes, which impose a duty on employers to conduct thorough and reliable internal investigations which, in turn, typically necessitate confidentiality?
Although Beyer and Carroll question whether this precedent applies to Catholic colleges and universities, both the NLRB and federal courts have repeatedly recognized that this boundary pertains to Catholic higher education institutions, as well as other faith-based schools.
In a brief filed with the Board in connection with Browning-Ferris Industries [Case 32-RC-109684], the NLRB's general counsel has urged the board to abandon the current "direct control" joint-employer standard and replace it with a "totality of the circumstances" test--one based on whether an alleged joint-employer exercises either direct or indirect control over the subject employees who work for another employer, and even to consider whether the alleged joint-employer has "unexercised potential to control working conditions" of those employees.
Late last year, the NLRB issued the second of two landmark decisions, holding that employee arbitration agreements waiving class or collective actions violate [section][section]7 and 8(a)(1) of the NLRA.
Non-union trucking companies, such as FedEx Freight, Con-way, and others subject to Teamsters union attempts at organizing privately, are concerned about the NLRB's new rules.
Other recent NLRB activity has the potential to significantly increase employee unionization efforts in every business category.
Communications solutions provider FairPoint Communications Inc (Nasdaq:FRP) announced on Wednesday that it has received the official ruling of Region 1 of the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) that rejects entirely the charges made by the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.