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February 23, 2019
What Protections Do You Have Under The Law?

What You Can Do Under The Law... And What Your Employer Can't.

The information you need to know before you organize.
Employees have the right, under Section 7 of the National Labor Act, to organize a union and bargain collectively with their employer. The following is a partial list of some of the more important rights that employers and employees have under the National Labor Act.

How to protect your rights. You and your fellow co-workers have certain rights, including the following:

An employee has the right to:
  • The right to work as a team to organize, join and support a union.
  • The right to sign a union card and to solicit fellow employees to sign a union card.
  • The right to attend union meetings and wear union insigna.
  • The right to discuss the union with fellow workers and distribute union literature.

You do NOT have the right to participate in these activities during working hours or in work areas, or in any way interfere with the operations of the business or your fellow employees. Please note that for the purpose of the National Labor Act, "working hours" do not include lunchtime and break time.

The employer's rights and obligations:

An employer may not:

  • Interfere with lawful organizing activities by means of interrogation, surveillance of union meetings or any other methods.
  • Threaten or penalize any employee in any manner because he or she supports an union, or promise the employee a promotion or better benefits if he or she stops supporting the union.
  • Negotiate with employees individually, or unilaterally take away any benefits, once the union’s majority status has been established.

An employer must:

  • Bargain with a union as the exclusive representative of all the employees who are members of the union, once the union is selected by a majority of employees.
  • Reinstate, without loss of seniority and with back pay plus 6% interest, any employee who has been improperly discharged, suspended or demoted for supporting a union.

Some employers may attempt to unlawfully interfere with union activities or organizing. If any company official or supervisor talks to you about the union and asks any questions, makes any promises or threats, this is what you should do:

  • Remember exactly what was said and write it down the very first chance you have, no later than the end of the day. Make a note of what was said, who said it, where the conversation took place and who was present. Be sure to write the time of day and the date in your notes. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!
  • Give this information to your union representative as soon as possible.

Next: Gaining Recognition

Interested in talking to someone about organizing your workplace? All communications will be treated with confidentiality and there are no obligations. So please contact Local 81 by phone at (503) 251-2381 or contact us via e-mail.



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