What is the NLRB?

On the news, you often hear people talking about the Department of Justice or State Department. But there’s one government agency that flies under the radar, while having a big impact on job creators and their employees.

It’s called the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB.

The NLRB is in charge of conducting elections for labor union representation and addressing unfair labor practices, as well as regulating the employer-employee relationship. The agency is governed by a General Counsel and a five-person board of unelected bureaucrats that are appointed by the president. This means that American voters have no direct say in choosing them.

And the agency is very powerful. The NLRB churns out labor regulations intending to help employees, but can have unintended consequences that actually hurt the business owners who provide employees career opportunities.

One example is the “joint employer” mandate. The NLRB recently made a recommendation that would make franchisors responsible for the day to day employment decisions of their franchisees.  This could leave franchisees with higher costs and make it riskier for franchise owners to sell franchises to entrepreneurs.

The NLRB has also made it easier for labor unions to organize.  The agency supports “micro-unions,” which allows labor organizers to recruit bits and pieces of a workplace into a union—splitting up the workplace and potentially hurting the employer-employee relationship.

Another harmful NLRB rule is the “ambush election,” which shortens the time between when a union files for an election and when the election actually happens. That makes it easier for labor organizers to unionize a workplace and more difficult for employers to educate employees about their perspective.

So the next time you hear about rules coming from the NLRB, you’ll know that it’s five unelected bureaucrats making decisions that affect millions of people—with no accountability to the American public.

To learn more about the NLRB, go to