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Introduction to the NLRB

The NLRB is an independent federal agency enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, which guarantees the right of most private sector employees to organize, to engage in group efforts to improve their wages and working conditions, to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative, to engage in collective bargaining, and to refrain from any of these activities. It acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions. 

Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.

The National Labor Relations Board has 26 regional offices and is headquartered in Washington, DC. Regional offices investigate and prosecute alleged violations of the Act under the authority of the General Counsel.

The Board has five Members and primarily acts as a quasi-judicial body in deciding cases on the basis of formal records in administrative proceedings. Board Members are appointed by the President to 5-year terms, with Senate consent, the term of one Member expiring each year.

The General Counsel, appointed by the President to a 4-year term, is independent from the Board and is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices in the processing of cases.

The Division of Judges dockets, hears, settles, and decides unfair labor practice cases throughout the country.

View the organizational structure of the NLRB

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If you are ready to file a Charge or Petition, you may do so via the NLRB’s electronic filing (E-File) application.

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