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What is the function of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) grants employees two basic rights: (a) the right to form, join, or assist a union and (b) the right to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection, which is any effort by two or more employees to improve pay, benefits, or working conditions. The NLRA of 1935 is commonly referred to as the Wagner Act. Senator Robert Wagner was the principal author of the initial statute. The Wagner Act also did the following:

  • Allowed employees the right to organize.
  • Required employers to bargain with employees collectively.
  • Gave employees the right to engage in concerted activities.
  • Created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as the regulatory agency.

Under the NLRA, an employer cannot legally take any adverse employment action against employees who engage in union activities.


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