Congress established the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 1935 to administer the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the primary law that governs relations between unions, employees and employers in the private sector. The Act guarantees employees the right to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers or to refrain from such activities. The Act, which generally applies to all employers involved in interstate commerce, implements the national labor policy of assuring free choice and encouraging collective bargaining as a means of maintaining industrial peace.

The NLRB has two primary functions:

  1. to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices, whether committed by labor organizations or employers, and;
  2. to establish whether or not certain groups of employees desire labor organization representation for collective-bargaining purposes, and if so, which union.

In this section

The NLRB is organized into two major components: a five-member governing Board, and the Office of the General Counsel. Board members and the General Counsel are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The Board is a quasi-judicial body that decides labor issues, while the General Counsel investigates and prosecutes cases.

The Agency's headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. It has field offices in 51 U.S. locations. Click on Office Locator for contact information for the Agency's headquarters and for the field offices.

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