NLRB unveils webpage detailing rights of all employees to engage in protected, concerted activities
On Monday, June 18, the NLRB unveiled a webpage detailing the rights of employees to act together for their mutual aid and protection, even if they are not in a union. The new page uses 12 recent cases to illustrate situations in which actions by non-union employees may be protected under the NLRA.
The page allows users to click on points on a map that identify the state in which the contested employment action occurred. In one case, which occurred in Lakewood, Washington (19-CA-31580), a construction contractor fired five employees who appeared in a YouTube video complaining of hazardous working conditions. The employer allegedly threatened and interrogated other employees, and the NLRB regional office issued a complaint. Before the hearing could be completed, the case settled and the workers got full backpay. In issuing the complaint, the regional director found that the video was protected activity because the employees used it to voice safety concerns.
In a statement announcing the new webpage, the Board stressed that the common element for all the cases highlighted is that the employees all engaged in protected activities. The Board further stressed that the right to engage in protected, concerted activities belongs to all workers, citing Section 7 of the NLRA, which states that: “Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all such activities.” The Board also noted that nonunionized employee concerted activity constitutes over five percent of the agency’s recent caseload.
The Board said that the new webpage is needed to inform all employees, regardless of their union status, of their rights under the NLRA.
“A right only has value when people know it exists,” said NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce. “We think the right to engage in protected concerted activity is one of the best kept secrets of the National Labor Relations Act, and more important than ever in these difficult economic times. Our hope is that other workers will see themselves in the cases we’ve selected and understand that they do have strength in numbers.”
Source: WKL&B Editorial Staff