By: Howard M. Wexler, Esq.
Still searching for a last minute Labor Day present for that special someone? Well, you’re in luck. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced today that is has launched a free app available for both iPhone and Android users that, “provides employers, employees and unions with information regarding their rights and obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.” This new app represents yet another step (e.g. the invalidated “Poster Rule”) in the NLRB’s effort to “get the word out” regarding its existence and the rights of employees under the NLRA, as previously reported here and here.
As set forth in the NLRB’s press release, “The app provides information for employers, employees and unions, with sections describing the rights enforced by the National Labor Relations Board, along with contact information for NLRB regional offices across the country. The app also details the process the NLRB uses in elections held to determine whether employees wish to be collectively represented.” According to Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, “With this app, we are using 21st Century technology to inform and educate the public about the law and their rights.”
Once downloaded, the app allows users to contact the NLRB’s toll free telephone number with just two simple clicks directly from their smart phone. If an individual wishes to contact their local NLRB regional office, the app – upon consent of the user – traces the location of the individual’s smart phone and then displays the contact information (address, telephone number and fax number) for the closest regional offices. Otherwise the user can scroll through a list of the NLRB’s regional offices and then click on the one that he or she wishes to contact.
The app’s “What’s the Law” icon allows users to click their way through various summaries of the NLRA pertaining to employers, employees and unions. For example, if an employee clicks his or her way to the “Social Media” tab, the app displays the following message, “Whether or not you are represented by a union, federal law gives you the right to join together with coworkers to improve your lives at work – including joining together in cyberspace, such as on Facebook.”
It remains to be seen what impact, if any, this app will have and whether anyone except for labor lawyers will actually download it. However, the creation of this app demonstrates that the NLRB continues to take an aggressive approach in reaching out to workers regarding their rights under the NLRA.