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How to File a Complaint With the Labor Board

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The National Labor Relations Board was organized to ensure that employees were treated fairly by employers and unions. The NLRB investigates any type of unfair employment or union member practice committed against an employee. Allegations of unfair labor practices should be filed with regional offices. Not everyone has the protection of the NLRB; employees who are not protected are railroad employees, domestic service employees or government employees. Charges made against an employer or union must be filed within six months of the incident. Sometimes an employee-rights lawyer should be consulted if a person feels he is a victim of employment discrimination.

Contact the nearest labor board regional office in your jurisdiction where the alleged violation occurred. The officer will help you determine if you are eligible for protection under the National Labor Relations Board. The agency will also provide you the form to file a charge or complaint if you qualify. Forms to file a charge can be obtained online, but the NLRB recommends that you contact the closest regional office first.

Speak with an officer from the NLRB. Speaking to a labor board officer from the beginning will not only help you avoid any delays in filing your claim but also help you avoid mistakes in the filing process. The labor board intake officer will provide you with forms and help you fill them out if you want that help.

Determine if the violation committed against you was made by your employer or by your union and whether it falls within the NLRB guidelines. The NLRB will investigate unfair labor practices made by either the union or the employer. They will pay particular attention to any employment discrimination.

Register a complaint or file a charge against your employer using form NLRB Form 501: Charge Against Employer.

File a charge against your union using form NLRB Form 508: Charge Against Labor Organization or its Agents.


The NLRB can help you determine if you have a valid complaint and if you should file an unfair labor practices charge. The board can also help you determine if hiring an employee-rights lawyer is in your best interest.


Prisca Rollins majored in accounting in college and minored in business. She was a Vet and Surgical Tech in the Army and a contractor with the US Army as an Admin and Marketing Coordinator overseas. Rollins is TESOL certified and has taken the PHR and Life, Health and Annuity Insurance Course.

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