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Protecting your legal rights

Employers have a variety of ways to protect their legal rights under the NLRA. For example, you may ask the Board to review a regional director's decision directing an election, file charges with the Board, appeal to the Board an administrative law judge's decision, and seek review of a Board decision by a federal court of appeals.

You may

  • Dispute the union's election petition at a regional hearing.
  • Ask the Board to review the Regional Director's direction of an election.
  • File an election (RM) petition if the union's presumption of majority status is rebuttable, and you have a good-faith, reasonable uncertainty that the incumbent union still enjoys majority support. (A union enjoys an irrebutable presumption of majority status (1) during the certification year and any extensions thereof; (2) for a "reasonable period" following voluntary recognition, Burns successorship, a settlement agreement in which you agree to bargain, or the Board's issuance of an affirmative bargaining order; and (3) during the term of a collective-bargaining agreement, up to 3 years.)
  • File an election (RM) petition if a union asks for recognition.
  • File with the Board objections to the union's conduct during the run-up to the election.
  • File with the Board objections to the conduct of the election itself.
  • Seek review, in a federal court of appeals, of the Board's certification of the union. (You cannot do so directly. To obtain court review, you must refuse to bargain with the union, and then petition the court to review the Board's decision finding your refusal to bargain an unfair labor practice.)
  • File charges with the Board alleging that a union has violated or is violating the Act.
  • Interview employees to prepare your defense in an unfair labor practice case if you provide employees certain assurances. You must communicate to the employee the purpose of the questioning, assure him against reprisals, and obtain his voluntary participation. Questioning must occur in a context free from employer hostility to union organization and must not itself be coercive. And questioning must not go beyond what is needful to achieve its legitimate purpose. That is, you may not pry into other union matters, elicit information concerning the employee's subjective state of mind, or otherwise interfere with employee rights under the Act.
  • Defend against unfair labor practice allegations in a hearing before an administrative law judge.
  • Appeal the decision of an administrative law judge or Board hearing officer to the NLRB.
  • Petition a federal court of appeals to review an adverse NLRB unfair labor practice decision.
  • Sue a union in court under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) for breach of a collective-bargaining agreement.
  • Sue a union in court under Section 303 of the LMRA for damages caused by unlawful secondary activity. (Primary as well as secondary employers have a right of action under Section 303.) (For further information about secondary union activity, see "for unions" in this app.)

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