National Labor Relations Board or NLRB is an independent agency of the United States Government. It is given the responsibility of conducting elections of labor union representation and with investigating and remedying unfair labor practices. Unfair labor practices may include union-related situations or protected covert activity. NLRB is governed by a 5 member board and a General Counsel.
They are appointed by the President with the agreement of the Senate. The term period for the Board members is 5 years and for the General Counsel Is 4 years. The headquarters of NLRB is at 1015 Half St. SE, Washington, D.C., with over 30 regional, sub-regional and residential offices all across the US.
Structure of NLRB
In 1947, the Taft-Hartley Act created a formal distinction between the Board and the General Counsel of the NLRB. The General Counsel acts as a prosecutor to the unfair labor practices brought to him while the board was responsible to determine which cases of unfair labor practices to be brought to the General Counsel.
The General Counsel oversees 4 divisions:
1. The division of Operations Management
2. The division of Administration
3. The division of Advice
4. The division of Enforcement Litigation
Jurisdiction: The board’s jurisdiction was limited to private sector employees and the US Postal service. It has no jurisdiction in any other department.
Processing of charges: Charges against employers or unions are filed in the appropriate regional office by the parties. The regional office will investigate the complaint. If it believes that a violation has been made, then the case will be taken to the administrative law judge who will conduct a hearing. The judge’s decision will be reviewed by the 5 member board. The board’s decisions are reviewed by United States Court of Appeals.