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How do you know which labor rights are protected so you can recognize when your employer has gone too far? Below we will explain the legal backing of your protected labor rights and how to identify possible violations, also known as unfair labor practices, when they arise.

Unfair Labor Practices in Section 8

The NLRA strictly prohibits employers from the following activities in Section 8, paragraphs 1-5:

  • Interfering with employees as they engage in concerted activity

  • Discriminating against an employee to discourage membership in a union

  • Refusing to bargain collectively with a representative of the employees

  • Interfering with the formation or administration of a union

  • Discriminating against a worker because they have filed unfair labor practice charges


Violations of these provisions are known as Unfair Labor Practices. Such violations are unfortunately common in the workplace, so it is essential to be equipped to spot them when they occur. Such employer actions can warrant a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the organization which enforces the NLRA.

Examples of Employer Interference with Workers' Rights

Here are some examples of when your employer would be violating your rights protected in the NLRA.

  • Giving employees benefits during a union drive to encourage their vote against forming a union

  • Threatening employees with consequences if they support or participate in a union

  • Prohibiting employees from talking about a union during working hours

  • Spying on employees' union efforts — something out of the ordinary to observe union activity

  • Firing employees who participate in concerted activity

  • Preventing employees from wearing union symbols like t-shirts, hats, buttons

  • Interviewing workers to build a case against unfair labor practices


There are many examples of unfair labor practices, further described on the NLRB website. It is important to know your legally protected rights, since many people are unaware of the power they have in the workplace.


Enforcing Your Rights

If you believe your NLRA rights have been violated, you may file a charge against your employer with the National Labor Relations Board. You can find charge forms here. Please contact an information officer at your nearest NLRB Regional Office for assistance.

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