Frequently Asked Questions
- What is E-Service?
- Do I need to file multiple copies of documents filed electronically?
- How do I get, and use, my PIN number?
- Where can I read the E-filing rules?
- What if I forget my password?
- What documents can I E-file?
- For consolidated cases, do I need to e-file my document separately under each case number?
- Is technical assistance available after hours?
- What is the deadline for E-filing? Can I request an extension?
- What if I have a question not on this list?
"E-Service" is the electronic service of final Board and ALJ decisions on parties to Board cases. Parties who register for E-Service will receive, immediately upon posting of the Board's daily E-Docket on its website, an e-mail constituting formal notice of the Board's or Judge's decision and an electronic link to the decision. E-Service notifications will be sent at the close of the business day at NLRB headquarters in Washington, D.C. (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time). Final Board and ALJ decisions will not be mailed to parties who sign up for E-Service.
When documents are electronically-filed in a case, the NLRB sends a courtesy e-mail notification to other parties in the case who have registered to receive electronic service of Board and ALJ Decisions. The e-mail with a link to the documents is a courtesy notification only; it does not constitute service of the document by the filing party pursuant to Board Rules & Regulations Sections 102.114(a) or 102.114(i). In addition, this e-mail indicates only that the document has been E-Filed with the Agency. It does not constitute a determination that the document has been accepted by the Agency as meeting the requirements for filing.
In the event the document being E-Filed is required to be served on another party to a proceeding, the other party shall be served by e-mail, if possible. If the other party does not have the ability to receive electronic service, the other party shall be notified by telephone of the substance of the transmitted document and a copy of the document shall be served by personal service no later than the next day, by overnight delivery service, or, with the permission of the party receiving the document, by facsimile transmission. See Sec. 102.114(a) and (i) of the Board's Rules and Regulations.
If you have not registered and wish to do so, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, providing the case number for each Board and/or Judges case in which you are a participant. You will be given an NLRB-assigned PIN number, which will allow you to register for E-Service/E-Issuance (click here for more information about PIN numbers). Each party or party representative currently can sign up only one e-mail address for E-Service.
There is no need to file multiple copies of documents that you file electronically.
PINs are not required for E-filing. They are used to request E-service.
Participants in active cases before the Board or the Division of Judges can obtain access to electronic information and receive early notification of filings and decisions in the case, but only if they register with the Agency to retrieve a PIN number.
If you are a participant on such a case, you can request a PIN number by sending an email to email@example.com. Please provide the case number for each case in which you are a participant. Participants in cases that are not yet pending before the Division of Judges or the Board are not included in the pilot project.
The Agency-assigned PIN number is needed only for the initial registration for E-Service. To access the system in the future, you will use the name and password that you created. If you misplace your PIN number before you sign-up for E-Service, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and your PIN number will be sent to you.
If you have multiple cases pending before the Board and/or Division of Judges, and there are variations in your name and address in the different cases, you may receive different PIN numbers for the different cases. When you log into the NLRB's website, the PIN(s) you receive will allow you to edit your contact information, and consolidate your contact information records.
Please note that you do not need a PIN number to use the other services available at mynlrb.gov, including accessing your previously E-Filed documents and saving your contact information for faster E-Filing.
The E-Filing terms are available here. Also, after you enter a valid case number in the NLRB E-Filing System, a screen detailing these E-Filing terms will open. You will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood these terms before proceeding to file your document.
If you forget your E-service password, simply go to mynlrb.nlrb.gov and in the log-in area, find a link that says "Forgot Password?" Click this link and enter your e-mail address. Your password will be reset and a new password will be sent to your e-mail address.
- Answer to Complaint/Compliance Specification
- Appeal Filings
- Amicus Brief or Reply to Amicus Brief, Post Hearing Brief, Briefs in Support of Motions
- Disclaimer of Interest
- EAJA Applications
- Excelsior List
- Exceptions or Cross Exceptions
- Extension of Time Request
- Formal Settlement Agreement
- Motions, Oppositions to Motions, and Replies to Oppositions to Motions
- Motion to Stay Election
- Notice of Appearance
- Objections to Election
- Petition to Revoke Subpoenas or Response
- Position Statement
- Request for Review and Oppositions to a Request for Review
- Request for Special Permission to Appeal
- Requests to Proceed with Election
- Settlement Agreement
- Service Documents
- Withdrawal Request
Documents that may NOT be E-Filed include:
- Unfair Labor Practice Charges
- Representation Petitions
- Petitions for Advisory Opinions
- A document that is more than twenty (20) megabytes in size
The full terms and rules are available (click here).
No, it is sufficient to file solely under the lead (lowest) case number.
Agency personnel are not available after the close of regular business hours to assist parties with E-Filing. If you are having difficulty after hours, you may try using a different computer. Temporarily removing pop-up blockers and changing your spam filter to allow receipt of messages from nlrb.gov may expedite receiving a notification that your E-Filing has been received.
A technical failure by the Agency's E-Filing system may excuse a late filing, but user-end problems will not. If user-end problems cannot be corrected before the 11:59 p.m. E-Filing deadline, the subsequent late filing will not be excused. Examples of user-end problems include trouble with the telephone lines, the user's Internet service provider, hardware, software, users failing to understand or follow E-Filing instructions, or rejection of the transmission because the document contains a virus.
E-Filed documents must be filed using the Agency's website before midnight in the time zone of the receiving office. NLRB Official Office Hours are listed in Appendix A to the Board's Rules and Regulations, which can be found under the "Publications" tab on the home page of the NLRB's website. Regional Office hours of operation can also be found here. Requests for extension of time are made by completing an online form. You can request an extension of time through the NLRB's E-Filing System by clicking here. Please note that successful submission of a request for an extension of time through the Agency's E-Filing system does not mean that your request has been granted. The office receiving the request will contact you directly to confirm whether it has been granted or denied.
You may send questions not addressed here to email@example.com.
- Are employees required to cooperate with an audit or investigation?
- Can audits turn into investigations, or investigations turn into audits?
- How does the OIG keep Congress and the Chairman informed?
- What is the difference between audits and investigations?
- What is the Office of Inspector General?
- What limitations exist on OIG activities?
- Who investigates the OIG?
All NLRB employees, supervisors, and managers are required by regulation to cooperate with OIG personnel during the course of any OIG audit, investigation, or other inquiry. This means participating in interviews, responding to surveys, and providing all requested documentation and information in a timely manner.
OIG is authorized access to all documents relating to NLRB programs and operations. The Inspector General may subpoena documents from private and non-federal government entities as necessary to conduct investigations.
Auditors are required to design audits to obtain reasonable assurances about compliance with laws and regulations. While conducting an audit, the auditor may become aware of potential criminal or serious administrative violations. This information may be referred for a possible investigation.
Conversely, while performing an investigation, the investigator may identify weaknesses in procedures or controls. This information may be referred for a possible audit.
The Inspector General is statutorily required to prepare semiannual reports for the Chairman and Congress. These reports, which are available to the public, must include the results of significant audits and investigations, and the status of open recommendations.
On a regular basis, the Inspector General keeps the Chairman and other agency officials informed by briefings and distributing documents.
Audits are objective and systematic assessments of how well offices are carrying out NLRB programs and operations, and focus on process. Audits are conducted pursuant to the Government Auditing Standards, known as the "Yellow Book," issued by the Comptroller General. Audits may have financial and/or performance objectives.
Audit reports containing findings and recommendations are issued to appropriate officials. Audit reports are public documents available upon request.
Investigations are usually undertaken in response to reports of misconduct, and focus upon a person. Investigations are conducted pursuant to the Quality Standards for Investigations issued by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency.
Investigation reports may be prepared to refer matters for prosecution, inform the agency of a basis for potential discipline, correct serious deficiencies, or inform other government agencies of the need for action within their jurisdiction. Access to investigative reports is limited in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act.
The OIG is an independent office created within the NLRB by the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988. As set forth in the Act, the OIG is to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, and to promote economy and efficiency in government.
OIG carries out its responsibilities by conducting audits, investigations, and other inquiries relating to NLRB programs and operations. OIG also reviews proposed and existing laws, regulations, and internal guidance concerning NLRB.
In order to maintain independence, OIG is prohibited from performing any Agency program functions. This does not prohibit OIG from participating in "prevention" activities, such as the development of agency policy or serving in an advisory capacity on committees.
Allegations against most Agency OIG employees are handled by the Agency Inspector General. Allegations about the Agency Inspector General or senior Agency OIG employees are handled by the Integrity Committee established by Executive Order 12993.
The audit function is subject to an external quality control review every three years.
- Is a printable version of these FAQs available?
- What impact will the new rule have on cases that are pending when the rule become effective on April 30, 2012?
- What types of petitions are affected by the revised rules?
- How soon after a petition is filed will the region conduct a pre-election hearing, if the parties do not reach an election agreement?
- On what basis will the request for a postponement of the pre-election hearing be granted or denied, and for what length of time?
- How will the Board’s revised rules affect existing time targets?
- Is a pre-election hearing required under Section 9(c) in all cases regardless of whether material facts are in dispute?
- In an election directed by the regional director after a hearing, can the notice of election be posted during the time when the employer is preparing the election eligibility (Excelsior) list?
- Is it possible that an election could be held the day the election eligibility (Excelsior) list is due?
- What issues will typically be litigated in a pre-election hearing?
- Do I have to take a position as to the appropriateness of the petitioned-for unit?
- Does the petitioning party have to put on testimony and offer documents if it petitions for a presumptively appropriate unit under Board law?
- Who has the burden of proving the supervisory status of individuals in the proposed unit?
- When can eligibility or inclusion issues be litigated in the pre-election hearing and when will they be deferred?
- What are the kinds of individual eligibility or inclusion questions that need not be litigated at the pre-election hearing?
- Isn’t the refusal of the Board to resolve supervisory status before the election going to inhibit employer rights to campaign against the union because they will not be in a position to determine who their supervisors are?
- Why should the Board focus on the small percentage of cases that are not resolved by agreement of the parties and isn’t this a backdoor way to speed up elections?
- What is the impact of the Board’s decision in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB No. 83 (2011), on how hearings will be conducted?
- Will transcripts from hearings be obtained on an expedited basis?
- If a hearing officer makes an obvious mistake in his or her ruling regarding critical evidence at the hearing, do I have a right to take a special appeal to the regional director? To the Board?
- If the regional director grants my request for special permission to appeal a ruling of the hearing officer, will the election be postponed?
- If the Board grants my request for special permission to appeal a ruling of the hearing to the regional director, will the election be postponed or the ballots be impounded?
- What is the hearing officer’s role in the new pre-election hearing process? Is it still his/her responsibility to ensure a full and complete record?
- If a substantial number of disputed individuals or groups of individuals are voted subject to challenge, and the union wins the election with these challenged votes not being determinative, how will we resolve these individuals’ unit placement?
- Will the challenge procedure be used when the number of employees at issue is 10% or less, but the issue is one of unit scope rather than eligibility?
- Am I not permitted to file a brief following the close of the pre-election hearing?
- Who has burden of proving objections or challenges in post-election proceedings?
A printable version of these FAQs with all answers expanded is available here.
The rule will be applied to those cases filed on or after April 30, 2012, but not to cases that were filed before April 30, 2012. This was not specifically addressed by the Board, but is a presumptively appropriate and more easily administered means for enforcing the revised rule, rather than changing rules in the middle of a pending proceeding.
The revised rules affect the processing of RD, RD, and RM petitions. An RC petition is filed by a labor organization seeking to represent employees. An RD petition is filed by a person seeking to decertify a current bargaining representative. An RM petition is filed by an employer seeking to determine if a labor organization should be recognized as the representative of its employees. The revised rules do not affect the processing of UC (unit clarification), UD (union deauthorization), AC (amendment of certification) or WH (certification of representative under the FLSA) petitions.
The revised rules adopted by the Board do not specify how soon the pre-election hearing should be held. Currently, most Regions issue the Notice of Representation Hearing (NOH) on the day the petition is filed and schedule the initial hearing for 7 to 10 days after the petition is filed. In the interest of having uniform and predictable representation case processes throughout the field, the Acting General Counsel has adopted the practice of some regions to normally issue the NOH on the day the petition is filed, and schedule the hearing 7 days (or 5 working days) from the date of issuance of the NOH. This satisfies the Board’s holding in Croft Metals, Inc., 337 NLRB 688 (2002), which requires that parties in representation cases must receive notice of hearing not less than 5 days prior to hearing, excluding intervening weekends and holidays. It also will give regions some flexibility to address postponement requests, consistent with outstanding instructions that hearings be conducted within 14 days from the date of filing, absent extraordinary circumstances
Under current standards specified in Form NLRB-4339, a request to postpone a hearing will not be granted unless good and sufficient grounds are shown. Requests for postponement of the hearing to a date more than 14 days after the petition was filed will normally not be granted absent extraordinary circumstances. Approval of a postponement request may be conditioned upon the parties’ agreement to participate in a conference; not seek extensions of time for filing of briefs, if allowed; and/or enter into stipulations on matters not in dispute.
The Board’s revised rules do not establish new time goals for processing representation petitions and/or conducting elections. In fact, the Board specifically stated that how fast an election will occur will vary from case to case, just as it did under the prior rules. Variables affecting the timing will include (as in the past) whether the parties are able to reach a pre-election agreement; the scheduling of the pre-election hearing; the length of the hearing; the number and complexity of the issues the regional director must address in order to determine if there is a question of representation; and the regional director’s exercise of discretion, considering the preferences of the parties, in setting the election date.
Although some of the revised rules may result in some reduction in the time required for conducting elections after a hearing, primarily where the issues raised are straightforward and routine, in about 90% of our representation cases there is no pre-election hearing and elections are conducted under the terms of a stipulated election agreement negotiated by the parties. It is therefore difficult to predict what impact the revised rules will have on the overall timing of elections. We will not be able to fully assess that impact until we have had some experience processing petitions under the revised rules.
A pre-election hearing is required in all cases where the parties have not entered into an election agreement, but a full scale “evidentiary hearing” is not required in every case, only “an appropriate hearing.” There may be times when there are no disputes which must be resolved and, therefore, an appropriate hearing does not require the introduction of extensive evidence.
Yes, that is possible. Board agents are encouraged to discuss election arrangements with the parties at the earliest possible time. We will send out the election notices as soon as the parties agree on the election arrangements or, if no agreement is reached, when the regional director determines it is appropriate to do so. We will encourage the parties to post and distribute the election notices upon receipt.
The Board’s revised rules limit pre-election hearings to those issues that are relevant to a question concerning representation and make clear that hearing officers, in consultation with regional management, should exercise their authority to limit the presentation of evidence to matters which are both relevant to a question concerning representation and about which the parties have taken a position. Issues affecting jurisdiction, labor organization status, scope of and appropriateness of the unit, and bars to an election will be litigated in the pre election hearing.
If you decline to take a position on a presumptively appropriate unit, you may be precluded from presenting evidence relevant to the determination of an appropriate unit. If the unit is not presumptively appropriate, the record will have to contain sufficient evidence to establish whether the petitioned unit is appropriate.
Not necessarily. In those circumstances, the burden of proof rests with the party seeking to contest the presumptively appropriate unit. If the party seeking to overcome that presumption presents evidence suggesting that the unit is not appropriate, the petitioning party may very well have to proffer evidence to rebut that showing and establish that the petitioned unit is, in fact, appropriate.
Under Board case law, the party seeking to exclude any individual based on exclusions allowed under the statute or the Board’s policies, including supervisors, managerial employees, confidential employees, independent contractors and agricultural workers, has the burden of proof with respect to the exclusion. However, depending on the number of individuals whose supervisory status is at issue, the introduction of evidence as to supervisory status might be deferred.
Under the Board’s revised rules, disputes over eligibility to vote or inclusion in an appropriate unit “ordinarily” need not be litigated or resolved before an election is conducted. The rules did not define “ordinarily” or otherwise specify the number of eligibility issues substantial enough to warrant pre-election litigation. The Acting General Counsel has decided to use the current guideline that applies to negotiated stipulation agreements and gives regional directors discretion to defer the resolution of up to 10% of the unit to the post-election stage. Regional directors will continue to have discretion to exceed that 10% threshold, where appropriate.
Some eligibility or inclusion issues cannot be deferred to the post-election stage, even if the number of individuals in dispute is small, because that would be contrary to our statute, policies and/or case law. For example, if a party contends that individuals included in an otherwise appropriate unit are professional employees, that issue must be resolved before the election because professional employees must be given an opportunity to decide whether to be included in a non-professional unit, through a special balloting procedure during the election.
Generally, individual eligibility and inclusion issues concern: (1) whether individuals or groups of individuals, otherwise falling within the terms used to describe an appropriate unit, are nevertheless ineligible because they are excluded from the Act’s definition of employee and (2) whether individuals or groups of individuals fall within the terms used to describe the unit. For example, if the petition calls for a unit including ‘‘production employees’’ and excluding the typical ‘‘professional employees, guards and supervisors as defined in the Act,’’ then the following would all be eligibility or inclusion questions: (1) whether production foremen are supervisors; (2) whether production employee Jane Doe is a supervisor; (3) whether workers who perform quality control functions are production employees; and (4) whether Joe Smith is a production employee.
As the Board noted in its revised rules, parties have never had an absolute right to have all eligibility or inclusion issues determined prior to an election. Although parties had the right to raise and litigate such issues, the Board and reviewing courts had made clear that those issues did not always have to be resolved by the regional director or the Board. In fact, it was not unusual for the resolution of those issues to be deferred to the post-election stage by regional directors and/or the Board before the enactment of the Board’s revised rules. Even if the regional director and/or the Board decided eligibility or inclusion issues, those determinations were not final and were subject to be appealed to the Board or challenged in court. Moreover, the Board’s resolution of those issues was usually made just a few days before the election or after the election and thus, near the end or after the election campaign period.
However, not all issues of eligibility or inclusion will be deferred to the post election stage under the Board’s revised rules. There may be circumstances where the regional director may allow litigation over eligibility or inclusion issues even if the number of employees affected is less than 10% of the unit. If the number exceeds the 10% threshold, those issues will normally be addressed at the pre-election stage.
Hearing officers will also continue to explore stipulations on all issues, including those that may ordinarily not be litigated at the pre-election stage. Nothing precludes the parties from discussing the facts relevant to supervisory status and reaching an agreement with respect to whether or not certain individuals are supervisors. Finally, the Board noted that in virtually every case, even where there is uncertainty concerning the supervisory status of individual employees, the employer nevertheless has in its employ managers and supervisors whose status is not disputed and is undisputable. An employer may certainly choose to use those acknowledged supervisors to articulate its views during the campaign.
The Board’s focus was on reducing unnecessary litigation and needless delay, in the interest of better fulfilling its duty to expeditiously resolve questions concerning representation. It emphasized that its revised rules are part of a historical and continuing process of improving the efficiency of representation processes and that each element of the final rule was intended to correct a specific and systemic problem that posed an obstacle to the prompt resolution of questions concerning representation. In the Board’s view, these problems affected not only contested cases, but also those cases in which the parties entered into agreements, because the possibility of time consuming and unnecessary litigation could be used to gain strategic advantage in every case.
In Specialty Healthcare, the Board set forth the analytical framework to be applied where a party contends that the smallest appropriate bargaining unit must include additional employees or job classifications beyond those in the petitioned-for unit. The Board stated that it would first assess whether the petitioned-for employees are “readily identifiable as a group (based on job classifications, departments, functions, work locations, skills or similar factors),” and would then apply traditional community-of-interest principles to determine if the petitioned-for unit is appropriate. If the petitioner satisfies that standard, the burden is on the party challenging the unit to demonstrate that the additional employees it seeks to include share “an overwhelming community of interest with the petitioned-for employees,” such that there “is no legitimate basis upon which to exclude certain employees from” the larger unit because the traditional community-of-interest factors “overlap almost completely.”
The time in which representation case transcripts are delivered to the Regions has not changed. Generally, those transcripts must be delivered within three calendar days after the hearing closes.
You may request special permission to appeal from that ruling to the regional director.
You may also request to file for special permission to appeal from the regional director’s ruling to the Board, but this special appeal will only be considered by the Board under “extraordinary circumstances” when it appears that the “issue will otherwise evade review.” This narrower standard is not applicable to requests for special permission to appeal rulings of the Hearing Officer to the regional director.
The hearing officer’s rulings will be reviewed by the regional director and ultimately, the Board, if a request for review is granted, regardless of whether or not a pre-election request for special permission to appeal has been filed with the regional director or Board.
In most cases, the request for special permission to appeal the hearing officer’s ruling will be made and ruled upon by the regional director before the hearing closes and a decision and direction of election issues, which would obviously obviate the need for a stay. However, if the request is made and/or ruled upon after the hearing closes, the regional director may order that the record be reopened to take evidence excluded by the hearing officer, and may grant a stay, either on his or her own initiative or upon request, under appropriate circumstances.
Not necessarily. Parties may request a stay or that the ballots be impounded, but special appeals will not automatically stay the election or require ballots to be impounded unless specifically so ordered by Board.
Under the revised rules, the hearing officer’s role is to ensure both a complete record on to issues relevant to the existence of a question concerning representation and a record that is not burdened with evidence about issues that do not need to be decided by the regional director. Consistent with these twin objectives, the hearing officer, in consultation with regional management, may preclude the introduction of evidence on individual eligibility and inclusion issues that do not need to be decided prior to the election in order for the regional director and the Board to discharge their duties under Section 9(c).
This is a situation that has arisen under the Board’s current procedures, and the parties have often resolved these issues themselves in negotiations. Alternatively, a party may file a unit clarification petition in order to resolve any outstanding unit placement issues.
The regional director, in addressing whether a question concerning representation exists, must determine the appropriate unit in which an election might be directed. A necessary element of this process will be determining the scope of the unit; that is, whether the unit will involve single or multiple facilities or employers. The challenge procedure will not be used in addressing unit scope issues, but may be used in certain circumstances to defer to the post-election process individuals’ eligibility or inclusion in the unit, if necessary.
Parties may file post-election briefs only by special permission of the hearing officer, who will make that decision in consultation with regional management. If a brief is allowed, the hearing officer will determine when it will be filed and what subjects will be addressed in the brief. It is anticipated that post-hearing briefs will not be allowed in most cases. However, a party may file a brief, memorandum of points and authorities, or other legal arguments with the hearing officer before the hearing closes, if it wishes to do so. Regardless, parties do have a right to present oral argument at the close of the hearing. And parties may file a brief in support of their request for review of the director’s decision and direction of the election if the election results have not rendered the issues moot.
The party lodging the objection or challenging the voter’s eligibility.
- What are my rights under the National Labor Relations Act?
- What is the National Labor Relations Board's role?
- I have a workplace issue, but I’m not sure the NLRB is the right place. What other government agencies might be able to help me?
- Is my employer subject to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?
- Which employees are protected under the NLRA?
- Do I have to be in a union to be protected by the NLRA?
- What are an employer's and union's obligations under the NLRA?
- I believe that my rights have been violated. How do I file a charge with the NLRB?
- How do I start the process for an election to bring in a union (or decertify an existing union)?
- What are the rules governing collective bargaining for a contract?
- Do I have to pay union dues if there is a union at my workplace?
- Is it legal to strike or picket an employer?
- How do I make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request?
- What if I have a question that's not on this list?
The NLRA is a federal law that grants employees the right to form or join unions; engage in protected, concerted activities to address or improve working conditions; or refrain from engaging in these activities. For more information, see our Employee Rights page.
The NLRB is an independent federal agency created to enforce the National Labor Relations Act. Headquartered in Washington DC, it has regional offices across the country where employees, employers and unions can file charges alleging illegal behavior, or file petitions seeking an election regarding union representation. For more information, see our What We Do page.
If your question is about unpaid wages, safety on the job, employment discrimination, workers' compensation, or a number of other work-related issues, you will have to contact a different government agency. Website links and phone numbers are available on this Related Agencies page.
The NLRA applies to most private sector employers, including manufacturers, retailers, private universities, and health care facilities. The NLRA does not apply to federal, state, or local governments; employers who employ only agricultural workers; and employers subject to the Railway Labor Act (interstate railroads and airlines). See this Jurisdictional Standards page for more information.
Most employees in the private sector are covered under the NLRA. The law does not cover government employees, agricultural laborers, independent contractors, and supervisors (with limited exceptions).
Employees at union and non-union workplaces have the right to help each other by sharing information, signing petitions, and seeking to improve wages and working conditions in a variety of ways. For more information on this aspect of the law, including a description of recent cases, see our Protected Concerted Activity page.
Employers and unions may not restrain or coerce employees who are exercising their rights under the NLRA. In a union workplace, the employer and union are obligated by law to bargain in good faith with each other over terms and conditions of employment, either to agreement or impasse. More information is available on our Employer/Union Obligations page.
Charges must be filed in a Regional Office, usually with the help of an Information Officer, within six months of the occurrence. The Regional Office will investigate the charge and, if found meritorious, will issue a complaint. For forms and more information, see our Investigate Charges page.
To start the election process, a petition must be filed with the nearest NLRB Regional Office showing interest in the union (or interest in decertifying the union) from at least 30% of employees. NLRB agents will then investigate to make sure the Board has jurisdiction and there are no existing labor contracts that would bar an election. More information is available on our Conduct Elections page.
If a union is selected as the representative of employees, the employer and union are required to meet at reasonable times to bargain in good faith about wages, hours, and other mandatory subjects. Even after a contract expires, the parties must bargain in good faith for a successor contract, or the termination of the agreement, while terms of the expired contract continue. Further information on good faith bargaining is available on our Employer/Union Obligations page.
The question of union dues is subject to federal and state laws and court rulings. The NLRA allows unions and employers to enter into agreements that require all employees in a bargaining unit to pay union dues. However, more than 20 states have banned such agreements by passing so called “right to work” laws. More information is available on our Employer/Union Obligations page.
Strikes and picketing are protected by the NLRA under certain conditions and to varying degrees. For important information on the rules regarding strike activity, see this Right to Strike page. A union cannot strike or picket an employer to force it to stop doing business with another employer who is the primary target of a labor dispute. At worksites with more than one employer, such as a construction site, picketing is only permitted if the protest is clearly directed exclusively at the primary employer.
To request public records under the Freedom of Information Act, see our FOIA page which includes a sample FOIA letter and an electronic request form.
Important note: The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily enjoined the NLRB’s rule requiring the posting of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The rule, which had been scheduled to take effect on April 30, 2012, will not take effect until the legal issues are resolved. There is no new deadline for the posting requirement at this time.Employee rights notice posting frequently asked questions.
- Does my company have to post the notice?
- What if my employees work at remote sites?
- Where should the Notice be posted?
- What if I communicate with employees electronically?
- Many of my employees speak a language other than English. Will I still have to post the Notice?
- Will I have to maintain records or submit reports under the Board’s rule?
- What will be the consequences for failing to post the Notice?
- How can I get copies of the Notice?
- When and how did the Board start to require this Notice posting?
- What if I have a question not on this list?
All employers that fall under the Board's jurisdiction, other than the U.S. Postal Service, must post the notice of employee rights.
The Board has statutory jurisdiction over private sector employers whose activity in interstate commerce exceeds a minimal level. Over the years, it has established standards for asserting jurisdiction, which are described below. As a practical matter, the Board’s jurisdiction is very broad and covers the great majority of non-government employers with a workplace in the United States, including non-profits, employee-owned businesses, labor organizations, non-union businesses, and businesses in states with “Right to Work” laws.
Employers in retail businesses fall under the Board’s jurisdiction if they have a gross annual volume of business of $500,000 or more. This includes employers in the amusement industry, apartment houses and condominiums, cemeteries, casinos, home construction, hotels and motels, restaurants and private clubs, and taxi services. Shopping centers and office buildings have a lower threshold of $100,000 per year.
For non-retailers, jurisdiction is based on the amount of goods sold or services provided by the employer out of state (“outflow”) or purchased by the employer from out of state (“inflow”). Outflow or inflow can be direct or ‘indirect’, passing through a third company such as a supplier. The Board takes jurisdiction when annual inflow or outflow is at least $50,000.
Channels of interstate commerce: For businesses providing essential links in the transportation of goods or passengers, including trucking and shipping companies, private bus companies, warehouses and packing houses, the minimum is $50,000 in gross annual volume.
Health care and child care institutions: Hospitals, medical and dental offices, social services organizations, child care centers and residential care centers with a gross annual volume of at least $250,000 are under NLRB jurisdiction; for nursing homes and visiting nurses associations, the minimum is $100,000.
Law firms and legal service organizations: The minimum is $250,000 in gross annual volume.
Cultural and educational centers: For private and non-profit colleges, universities, and other schools, art museums and symphony orchestras, the annual minimum is $1 million.
Federal contractors: Federal contractors are required by the Department of Labor to post a similar Notice of Employee Rights under the NLRA. There is no need to post an additional poster; the DOL poster will satisfy the NLRB’s requirement.
Religious organizations: The Board will not assert jurisdiction over employees of a religious organization who are involved in effectuating the religious purpose of the organization, such as teachers in church-operated schools. The Board has asserted jurisdiction over employees who work in the operations of a religious organization that did not have a religious character, such as a health care institution.
Indian tribes: The Board asserts jurisdiction over the commercial enterprises owned and operated by Indian tribes, even if they are located on a tribal reservation. But the Board does not assert jurisdiction over tribal enterprises that carry out traditional tribal or governmental functions.
The following employers are excluded from NLRB jurisdiction by statute or regulation:
- Federal, state and local governments, including public schools, libraries, and parks, Federal Reserve banks, and wholly-owned government corporations.
- Employers who employ only agricultural laborers, those engaged in farming operations that cultivate or harvest agricultural commodities or prepare commodities for delivery.
- Employers subject to the Railway Labor Act, such as interstate railroads and airlines.
Employers with remote worksites inside the United States should post the Notice at those locations to ensure that all employees are notified of their rights. However, employers who dispatch employees to worksites owned and operated by a client are not responsible for notice-posting there.
The Notice should be posted in conspicuous places, where other workplace rights notices and company notices concerning personnel rules or policies are customarily posted. Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure the Notice is not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material, or otherwise rendered unreadable.
Employers who typically post personnel rules and policies on an internet or intranet site should also post the Notice of NLRA rights there, in addition to a physical posting. Employers are not required to distribute the posting by email, Twitter or other electronic means.
Yes. The Notice must be posted in English and in another language if at least 20% of employees are not proficient in English and speak the other language. The Board will provide translations of the Notice, and of the required link to the Board’s website, in the appropriate languages. If a translation of the appropriate language is not available, the employer will not be liable for non-compliance.
If a workforce includes two or more groups, each constituting at least 20 percent of the workforce, who speak different languages, the employer must post the Notice in the language spoken by the larger group, and then may either post the Notice in the language(s) spoken by the other group(s) or, at the employer’s option, distribute copies of the Notice to those employees in their language(s). If such an employer is also required to post the Notice electronically, it must do so in each of those languages.
No, the rule has no record-keeping or reporting requirements.
The NLRB does not audit workplaces or initiate enforcement actions on its own, nor does it have the ability to assess fines or penalties.
A failure to post the Notice would need to be brought to the Board’s attention in the form of an unfair labor practice charge by employees, unions, or other persons. In most cases, the Board expects that employers who fail to post the Notice were unaware of the rule and will comply when requested by a Board agent. In such cases, the unfair labor practice case will typically be closed without further action. The Board also may extend the 6-month statute of limitations for filing a charge involving other unfair labor practice allegations against the employer.
If an employer knowingly and willfully fails to post the Notice, that failure may be considered evidence of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case involving other alleged violations of the NLRA.
The easiest way to obtain the Notice is to download it from www.nlrb.gov/posterand print it on a single 11-by-17 paper or two 8-by-11 papers taped together. Free copies of the Notice are available on request from any NLRB regional office. Finally, employers can satisfy the rule by purchasing and posting a set of workplace posters from a commercial supplier.
The posting of NLRA rights was proposed by the Board in a federal rulemaking procedure in December 2010. The proposal was posted in the Federal Register and public comments were accepted for a 60-day period. The Board received nearly 7,000 comments. A detailed description of the comments and the Board’s response to them, including modifications to the rule, is available here. The final rule was posted in the Federal Register on August 30, and was set to take effect 75 days later, on November 14, 2011. The effective date was later changed to April 30, 2012. Click here for the text of the final rule.
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