Concerted Activity Law and Legal Definition

Concerted activity is undertaken jointly by employees for the purpose of union or organization, collective bargaining, or other mutual aid or protection. Such activities frequently are "protected" under federal and state labor laws.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects individuals engaged in not just "unions," but also "concerted activities" for their mutual aid and protection. Section 7 of the NLRA states:

"Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all such activities . . . . "

Protected concerted activity sometimes includes employee conduct that has nothing to do with unions directly, as when employees act together to complain about their work places and their jobs. For instance, employees who get together and complain to management about their pay or benefits are engaged in concerted activity protected by Section 7 of the Act.

"The term 'concerted activity' is not defined in the Act. Courts have interpreted concerted activity in reference to Congress' intent to equalize the bargaining power of the employee with that of his employer by allowing employees to band together in confronting an employer regarding the terms and conditions of their employment. However, the precise manner in which particular actions of an individual employee must be linked to the actions of fellow employees in order to permit it to be said that the individual is engaged in concerted activity is unclear and subject to interpretation in court based on the facts in each case.