On August 30, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced the release of a free NLRB mobile app for iPhone and Android users. The app is the latest phase of the NLRB’s continued campaign to educate employees about the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the role of the Board in enforcing the NLRA in both union and nonunion environments. The app serves a similar purpose as the proposed NLRB notice-posting requirement that was enjoined in federal court last year. In a press release, NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce described the purpose of the app as follows:
“The National Labor Relations Act guarantees the right of workers to join together, with or without a union, to improve their working lives. The promise of the law can only be fulfilled when employers and employees understand their rights and obligations. With this app, we are using 21st Century technology to inform and educate the public about the law and their rights.”
The app contains information that is directed to employees, employers, and unions. Among the topics in the “employees” section of the app are:
- Concerted activity. This section informs employees that they have the right to engage in protected concerted activity and includes examples, such as “talking with one or more co-workers about your wages and benefits or other working conditions, circulating a petition asking for better hours, participating in a concerted refusal to work in unsafe conditions, and joining with coworkers to talk directly to your employer, to a government agency, or to the media about problems in the workplace.”
- Social Media. This section informs employees: “You have the right to address work-related issues and share information about pay, benefits, and working conditions with coworkers on Facebook, YouTube, and other social media.”
- Strikes, Pickets, and Protests. This section tells employees that “[a]ll employees – union or not – have the right to participate in a protected strike, picket or protest.”
At all times when using the app, a “CONTACT NLRB” button is visible which, if tapped, takes users to a page where they can find contact information for their closest NLRB office, or contact the NLRB by phone with a single tap. The ability to contact the NLRB is always at the user’s fingertips while the app is open.