Protection from Retaliation

In Response to Union Organizing, An Employer Cannot:

The NLRB handles charges of illegal anti-union activity in private sector organizing campaigns. Contact the NLRB at 1-844-762-NLRB for more information or visit the board’s website.

Photos of workers

By law, employers cannot retaliate against a worker by cutting work hours or wages, disciplining or firing them, or by trying to punish them in any way for trying to form or join a union. A private-sector worker who believes their employer has violated their rights should contact the NLRB as soon as possible and speak with an NLRB agent to discuss their concerns. If needed, a worker may file – at no cost – an unfair labor practice charge alleging that their employer violated the law. Workers do not need a lawyer to file a complaint. Once filed, the NLRB will send a copy of the charge to the employer. The law protects workers and holds employers liable if they retaliate against workers who file charges or take part in an NLRB investigation or proceeding. Contact the NLRB at 1-844-762-6572. An employer who has broken the law may be required to pay back wages and other related expenses.

More information is available on Retaliation after filing a charge against your employer –

It is illegal for employers to retaliate against any worker, including an immigrant worker, for trying to form or join a union. Immigrants working for private employers who believe their employer has violated these rights should contact the National Labor Relations Board at 1-844-762-6572 for assistance in filing an unfair labor practice charge. They may also contact their closest NLRB Field Office or submit a charge on the NLRB’s website. Charges must be filed with an NLRB Field Office within six months of the potential violation. If a worker has filed a charge or has witnessed the alleged violation – and the worker or their representative tells the NLRB that immigration relief is needed to protect workers exercising their rights – the NLRB will consider seeking immigration relief for employees at that worksite. This relief may include deferred action, parole, U or T visa status, or other relief.

The Department of Labor’s mission and enforcement depends on the cooperation of workers. DOL has published an FAQ on its process for requesting DOL support for requests to the Department of Homeland Security for immigration-related prosecutorial discretion, such as deferred action, during labor disputes. Read more in this FAQ.

In three out of four worker organizing drives, employers hire outside consultants to engage in anti-union campaigns or “persuader” activities, in response. In nine out of 10 anti-union campaigns, employers hold mandatory “captive audience” employee meetings, where employers emphasize their anti-union views. Current labor laws do not give union supporters equal time at these meetings to present their views. While these meetings are common, they may or may not be legal. The NLRB enforces workers’ organizing and bargaining rights, and answers questions about whether an employers’ activities are legal. Contact the NLRB at 1-844-762-NLRB.

When employers hire outside consultants to run anti-union campaigns, the employer and the consultants are legally required to file public reports. The department’s Office of Labor Management Standards collects and publishes these reports online. OLMS also offers a tip line for reporting non-compliance with the persuader reporting requirements.