Although a majority of American workers would like to have the opportunity to join a labor organization, fewer than ten percent of private sector employees are currently represented by a union. About one-third of public sector employees enjoy union representation.

Many non-unionized employees do not realize that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) grants them rights regardless of union status. The NLRA gives most workers the right to act together with fellow employees “for mutual aid or protection” in fighting for better conditions on the job. These rights include trying to form a union, working with others for better wages or health and safety improvements, and protesting an employer’s unfair labor practices. Unionized employees have the right under the NLRA or state law to bargain collectively for a contract setting out the terms and conditions of employment: wages, seniority rights, benefits, work rules, and so on.

If you are interested in forming a union, or have been targeted by your employer in retaliation for acting with fellow employees to improve workplace conditions, a labor lawyer may be able to help advise you about available protections under the NLRA or Massachusetts labor law. To learn about your rights, contact us.

We also represent unionized employees in grievance proceedings and before state and federal labor agencies. Be sure you act quickly, as short deadlines generally apply to grievances and to claims of unfair labor practices.