During many organizing campaigns, employers actively oppose workers’ efforts to form a union and have a greater voice in the workplace. Management may hire outside consultants (“union busters”) paid specifically to disrupt or stamp out employees’ organizing efforts. However, workers seeking to organize have protections under the law. This page will focus on employees’ legal rights during organizing.
RIGHT TO ORGANIZE AND PARTICIPATE IN CONCERTED ACTIVITIES
The NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT (NLRA) extends rights to most private-sector employees, including the right to organize and bargain collectively with your employer. Employees covered by the Act are protected from certain types of employer misconduct, and have the right to form a union where none currently exists.
The National Labor Relations Act also protects employees' rights to engage in PROTECTED CONCERTED ACTIVITIES, with or without a union, which are usually group activities where two or more employees acting together to improve working conditions, such as wages and benefits. Some examples of such activities include:
AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT vs JUST CAUSE TERMINATION
Nevada is an AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT state (see HERE). At-will employment is a legal system that defines your employment relationship with your boss as impermanent, you can be fired without notice unless you have a contract for a definite term or unless your boss has recognized a labor union.
From the Nevada Office of the Labor Commissioner (see HERE):
Labor unions offer workers security and peace of mind that they won’t be fired on the whim of their boss and without warning. Unions offer JUST CAUSE TERMINATION. That means your boss cannot punish you or fire you without a valid reason and a fair hearing. One of the main reason workers join unions is to gain protection against unfair and unjust discipline by employers.
According to just cause protections, employers must meet certain criteria before firing workers. Your boss must have reasonable rules. You must be warned not to break the rules beforehand and given an opportunity to fix any problems or poor performance. You have to be found guilty of breaking the rules in a fair and impartial investigation that found substantial evidence of your guilt. And the punishment (including firing) must be proportional to the seriousness of the offense.
Unions also support PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE. That means that, except for in the most serious cases, your boss must first give you a disciplinary notice of unsatisfactory conduct or performance and allow you a reasonable opportunity to correct any issue.