On 6/19/23, we posted about a decision letter the attorney for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sent signifying her opinion that, for the most part, non-compete provisions in employment contacts and severance agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

You may think that the NLRA is not applicable to non-unionized private employers. However, it does. Just because an organization is not unionized, an employer can be unionized at any point. So it is important for an employer to know that Section 7 and 8 (a)(1) of the NLRA discusses interference with employee rights.

While the NLRA signifies employees may refrain from union activities, the NLRA also states that employees have “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection…”

Section 8(a)(1) of the Act signifies that an employer can not “interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights…” This applies to any private employer, whether unionized or not. There are several employer actions listed that are specifically prohibited under the Act.

Sometimes, employers allow actions with their staff, but may be unwilling to provide those same actions when related to a union campaign. It is important to know that if an employer allows something in one context, they will likely have to allow it in a union context. For example, if an employer allows postings in their workplace regarding puppies for sale or allows employees to solicit for girl scout cookies, the same access would likely apply to a union. The personal computer use you allow in the workplace could also be an issue.

Whether you have a unionized workforce or not, what you don’t know can cause you issues. If you are a private employer covered by the NLRA or a public employer who is covered under the New Mexico Public Employer Labor Relations Act and would like to know more, contact us at Southwestern HR Consulting (SWHRC) today and we can provide you with guidance from our team of experts.

Magdalena Vigil-Tullar

Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar


Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email: magdalena@swhrc.com

PO Box 14274 | Albuquerque, NM 87191

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National Labor Relations Act