National Labor Relations Board Law and Legal Definition

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is a federal agency charged with administering the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (also known as the Wagner Act), which governs the establishment and maintenance of labor organizations. The National Labor Relations Act is the primary law governing relations between unions and employers in the private sector.

The National Labor Relations Act guarantees the right of employees to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers or to refrain from all such activity. The Act applies generally to all employers involved in interstate commerce--except airlines, railroads, agriculture, and government. The purpose of the Act is to implement the national labor policy of assuring free choice and encouraging collective bargaining as a means of maintaining industrial peace. Through the years, Congress has amended the Act and the NLRB and courts have developed a body of law based uponthe statute. The primary duties of the NLRB are conducting elections to determine whether employees want union representation and investigating and remedies unfair labor practices by employers and unions.