Teacher files 'Unfair Labor Practice Complaint' against DPS
How to Report an Unfair Labor Practice
Federal and state labor laws provide employees with certain rights such as the right to join a union and to engage in collective bargaining. Employees also have the right to abstain from participating in labor activities. When management interferes with an employee's right to organize, or when a labor union pressures a non-union employee into participating in union activities, they commit an unfair labor practice.You can report an unfair labor practice, or ULP, charge to the National Labor Relations Board. You also may be able to file a ULP charge with your state board, depending on where you live and whether you work for the government or for a private employer.
Reporting to the Federal Labor Board
Locate the nearest NLRB regional office.You must report an unfair labor practice to the regional office with jurisdiction over you and your employer. You can find the nearest office by using the NLRB's .
- The correct office normally is the one that has jurisdiction over the worksite where the alleged unfair labor practice occurred. If you are unsure as to which regional office you should use, an informational officer at any NLRB regional office can assist you in locating the correct office.
Get a copy of the appropriate form.You must use Form NLRB-501 for a charge against your employer,or Form NLRB-508 for a charge against a labor organization.
- You can download a copy of the appropriate form online, or pick up a paper copy at your nearest NLRB regional office.
- The National Labor Relations Act creates a balance between employees and employers, giving employees the right to unionize and establishing rules for union elections and collective bargaining.
- If either the union or your employer takes an action that interferes with your rights under the NLRA, you can report that action as an unfair labor practice.
- For example, if your employer made a rule that employees were not allowed to talk about the union with each other while working, but they were allowed to talk about other things such as their personal lives, this probably would be an unfair labor practice.
- A union, on the other hand, might commit an unfair labor practice by coercing or threatening employees who didn't want a union.
Fill out your ULP form.You must fill out your charge form in full, including information identifying you and the employer or labor organization you're charging with an unfair labor practice.
- You also must describe in full detail the facts of the action or occurrence that you allege to be an unfair labor practice.
- The section of the form in which you describe the alleged unfair labor practice should not include a list of any evidence you have in support of your claim, or names of witnesses.
- Consider calling an NLRB information officer in the regional office where you will file your charge, if you have any questions or difficulty filling out the form. The information officer can answer your questions and keep your charge from being delayed or dismissed because it was filled out incorrectly.
File your ULP form.The NLRB only processes charges filed within six months of the date the event or action occurred that gave rise to the charge.
- You can file your charge in person at the regional office, or you can file online by uploading a PDF.
Serve a copy of the charge on the person or entity you charged with an unfair labor practice.According to the NLRB's rules, you are responsible for service after you file your charge.
- You can serve the other party personally, by regular, registered or certified mail, or by private delivery service.
Cooperate with the NLRB investigation.Once the NLRB receives your charge, the regional director will investigate the situation and decide whether to take formal action.
- During the investigation, you will be asked questions about your charge. You may be asked to provide the names and phone numbers of witnesses or any documents that support your claim. You also may be asked to give sworn testimony, which may be recorded.
- Your charge will be dismissed if the regional director finds insufficient evidence of an unfair labor practice. You have the opportunity to appeal that dismissal.
- If the regional director finds evidence that the employer or union has violated the NLRA, the responsible party will be asked to voluntarily remedy that violation.
- If the employer or union refuses to remedy the violation, the regional director will issue a complaint and notice of hearing, and the employer or union you charged will have 10 days to answer the complaint.
Attend the hearing.After the employer or union files an answer to the complaint, a hearing will be held before an administrative law judge.
- During the hearing, evidence will be presented to the administrative law judge, who also may call witnesses to testify. Following the presentation of the evidence, the judge will issue an order for remedy of any unfair labor practices found.
Reporting to Your State Labor Board
Find out if your state takes ULP complaints.In addition to the federal labor board, many states have their own labor boards that are responsible for the execution of state labor relations laws.
- Usually you can find out if your state has a process for handling ULP complaints by checking the website of your state's labor office. The U.S. Department of Labor has a list of the states and the contact information for the state labor office, including the website address.
- State laws typically cover public employees such as city and county government employees, and private sector employees not covered by the NLRA.
Get the forms you need.Many states provide a form online that you can download and print to file a ULP charge. If you prefer, you can visit a local state labor office and get a paper form.
Fill out your forms.As with the NLRB, most states require basic contact information identifying you and the employer or union you're charging with committing an unfair labor practice, as well as a brief factual description of what happened that gave rise to the charge.
- You may be required to list the type of relief you seek for the violation.
- If you have any other proceedings open or pending that relate to the same incident, you typically will be required to make a note of them along with their status and any relevant case numbers.
File your form with the appropriate state agency.As with the NLRB, most states require ULP charges to be filed within six months of the date the incident took place.
Cooperate with the state investigation.After your charge is filed, an agent of the state board will investigate the charge. During this time you may be asked additional questions about your charge.
- The investigating agent may request you to answer questions under oath, or may ask for names and phone numbers of other witnesses to the action that serves as the basis for your charge.
Attend mediation, if required.Some states may require parties involved in charges of unfair labor practice to attempt mediation before a formal hearing with a judge is scheduled.
Attend your state hearing.If the investigation reveals sufficient evidence to support a charge of unfair labor practices, the state board may schedule a hearing.
- During the hearing, both sides will present evidence and testimony to an administrative law judge. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge or other board representative will issue an order on the charge.
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