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What Is an Unfair Labor Practice?

An unfair labor practice is the term in which an employer or the labor organization violates their labor rights. Unfair labor practices are hostile to the legitimate interests of both labor and management, including their right to bargain collectively and otherwise deal with each other in an atmosphere of freedom and respect, disturb industrial peace and hamper the promotion of stable labor-management relations.

For example, it is unfair labor practice for the employer to interfere with the employees' exercise of self-organization. It is also unlawful for the employer to restrain the employee from joining a labor-organization or to make that employee withdraw from one as a condition of employment. On the other hand the labor organization is also committing unfair labor practice if it restrains the employee in exercising their self-organization; however they have the right to create their own rules in respect in preservation of membership. It is also unlawful for the union to accept negotiation from the employer with regards to the settlement of collective bargaining. Both parties are committing unfair labor practices if either violates the collective bargaining agreement.

In the United States, unfair labor practice refers to actions taken by employers or labor organizations that violate the National Labor Relations Act or NLRA. The NLRA is the federal labor law that controls labor organizations and employer relations in the private sector. The NLRA gives the private sector workers the right to form a union, strike for better working conditions, resign union membership anytime and participate in protected union activities.

Unfair labor practices are not only violations of the civil rights of both parties but are also criminal offenses that are punishable by law.

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