Concerted activity is when two or more coworkers come together to talk about and/or advocate for changes in their workplace. Concerted activity can include reporting unsafe working conditions or violations of law to the state or federal government. Even one employee acting alone can participate in a concerted activity if it is done for the benefit of all of their co-workers.
An employer cannot punish you for protected activities unless you are abusive.
There are some instances where your actions are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). These can include:
If you or your coworkers are attempting to unionize, talk to your boss about unsafe conditions, or are otherwise talking about your workplace conditions;
IT IS ILLEGAL FOR YOUR BOSS TO RETALIATE AGAINST YOU BY:
Independent contractors are not covered, and domestic workers and home health care workers may not be covered depending on how they are employed. If you have questions about whether you are covered by the NLRA, call the WNYCOSH Worker Center at 716-206-3550.
If the NLRB determines that your rights were violated, it has the power to make things right. The NLRB can order the employers to rehire the employee and to pay the employee lost wages and benefits. The NLRB can also ordering the employer or union to stop breaking the law and inform employees of their rights.
If you think your rights have been violated, you should contact the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). You generally have six months to report a violation. You can talk to the NLRB without telling your employer, union, or any coworkers. You have to file a charge against an employer or union to begin an investigation, but anybody can file charges, even for another coworker. If you think you might have a case, contact the regional office in Buffalo. It is illegal for an employer or union to retaliate against employees for filing charges or participating in NLRB actions.
New York has laws meant to expand the NLRA’s protections for some groups of workers, including farmworkers. Depending on the type of complaint, it may be more effective to contact the NYS Dept. of Labor or Division of Human Rights instead of the NLRB.
Buffalo NLRB Office
130 S. Elmwood Ave, Ste 630
Buffalo, NY 14202
Call toll free: 1-844-762-6572
Call toll free: 1-877-466-9757
WNYCOSH Worker Center
2495 Main St., Ste 438
Buffalo, NY 14213
Call: 716-206-3550 (in 14 languages)
This guide was compiled by 2019 Frank Dolce Fellows Patrick Hoover and John Zakour.