Working people in America have certain basic legal rights to safe, healthy and fair conditions at work. But many employers—perhaps yours—violate these fundamental rights because they value their profits more than their workers.
Employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act are afforded certain rights to join together to improve their wages and working conditions, with or without a union.
Employees have the right to attempt to form a union where none currently exists, or to decertify a union that has lost the support of employees.
Examples of employee rights include:
Forming, or attempting to form, a union in your workplace;
Joining a union whether the union is recognized by your employer or not;
Assisting a union in organizing your fellow employees;
Refusing to do any or all of these things.
To be fairly represented by a union
Activity Outside a Union
Employees who are not represented by a union also have rights under the NLRA. Specifically, the National Labor Relations Board protects the rights of employees to engage in “concerted activity”, which is when two or more employees take action for their mutual aid or protection regarding terms and conditions of employment. A single employee may also engage in protected concerted activity if he or she is acting on the authority of other employees, bringing group complaints to the employer’s attention, trying to induce group action, or seeking to prepare for group action.
A few examples of protected concerted activities are:
Two or more employees addressing their employer about improving their pay.
Two or more employees discussing work-related issues beyond pay, such as safety concerns, with each other.
An employee speaking to an employer on behalf of one or more co-workers about improving workplace conditions.