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What Is Labor Law?

Labor law is a broad area of the law that focuses on protecting the rights of workers and mediating concerns involving the government, unions, workers, and employers. Issues regularly addressed by labor law attorneys include disputes over union contracts and issues involving employee collective bargaining rights.

Who Regulates and Enforces Labor Laws?

The federal government passed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to ensure that the rights of union represented employees were not violated. The federal act also created the National Labor Relations Board to enforce NLRA, regulate labor issues, and police against unfair labor practices.

What Are Some Unfair Labor Practices?

The National Labor Relations Act prohibits retaliation against employees who try to organize a union or bargain collectively with employers. Discriminating against employees based on their union membership is prohibited. Likewise, an employer cannot discriminate or retaliate against employee(s) who had filed compliant with NLRB under NLRA. Collective bargaining for employment is to be done in good faith.

The National Labor Relations Act offers a variety of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods to enforce such collective bargains. 

How Should an Employee Report under NLRA?  

Under NLRA, employees can take action against both employers and unions engaged in unfair labor practices. To report an unfair labor practice, an employee must file a complaint with NLRB that will investigate the reported issues. A settlement may occur or an employee may have to appeal NLRB decision, in which case qualified attorney’s help may be useful.

How Can a Labor Lawyer Help?

Labor lawyers can be a great asset to both employers and employees. Since labor and employment law issues may intersect, an attorney specializing in labor and employment law can assist employees in suing for discrimination, wrongful termination, and violations of health and safety regulations.

For employers, a labor lawyer can be just as valuable. A labor lawyer can help employers negotiate collective bargaining agreements with unions and draft employee handbooks to ensure compliance with current laws.

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Last Modified: 01-17-2017 12:08 PM PST

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