No Rights Without a Remedy: The Long Struggle for Effective National Labor Relations Act Remedies

Author(s): 
Ellen Dannin
Publication Date: 
June 7, 2011

ACS is pleased to distribute “No Rights Without a Remedy: The Long Struggle for Effective National Labor Relations Act Remedies,” an Issue Brief by Ellen Dannin, Fannie Weiss Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson School of Law. This paper addresses recent initiatives by the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to ensure that National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) remedies are effective when employer actions violate employees’ rights to organize. The Issue Brief describes the General Counsel’s recent initiatives and then discusses longstanding problems that the author believes will have to be addressed “if the NLRA is to achieve Congress’ stated goals of promoting collective bargaining and employee rights to freedom of association.” Professor Dannin concludes:

"The GC’s new initiatives represent a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done if the NLRA is to live up to congressional intent at the time of the Act’s passage. At a moment when the NLRB is being inaccurately criticized for being overly expansive in its decision to issue a complaint against Boeing, I argue that the problem is not that the NLRA is being interpreted too expansively, but rather the opposite—for too long, the Act has been interpreted in a manner that robs it of the flexibility and robust array of remedies intended by those who passed this landmark legislation."