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Frequently Asked Questions

What restrictions were placed on employers by the National Labor Relations Act?

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935, also known as the Wagner Act, placed several restrictions on employers to protect the rights of workers and promote fair labor practices. The Act was applicable to all firms and employees involved in activities affecting interstate commerce, excluding agricultural laborers, government employees, and those subject to the Railway Labor Act. The NLRA guaranteed covered workers the right to organize and join labor movements, choose representatives, bargain collectively, and strike. It established the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent Federal agency, to oversee these rights. The NLRB was given the power to determine whether a union should be certified to represent particular groups of employees, using methods such as holding a representation election among workers. One of the key restrictions placed on employers by the NLRA was the prohibition of engaging in any of the five categories of unfair labor practices. These practices included interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights; dominating or interfering with the formation or administration of any labor organization; discriminating against employees to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization; discharging or otherwise discriminating against employees who file charges or testify under the Act; and refusing to bargain collectively with the representatives of the employees.
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