The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees' rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.
The National Labor Relations Act provides the legal framework for private-sector employees to organize bargaining units in their workplace, or to dissolve their labor unions through a decertification election.
On the adjudicative side of the NLRB are 40 Administrative Law Judges and a Board whose five members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
The majority of parties voluntarily comply with orders of the Board. When they do not, the Agency's General Counsel must seek enforcement in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Parties to cases also may seek review of unfavorable decisions in the federal courts.
When a charge is determined to have merit, the NLRB encourages parties to resolve cases by settlement rather than litigation whenever possible.
Employees, union representatives and employers who believe that their rights under the National Labor Relations Act have been violated may file charges alleging unfair labor practices at their nearest NLRB regional office.