The National Labour Relations Act (NLRA)
The conditions under which employee termination is legal and the remedies for unlawful employee dismissal are outlined in the National Labour Relations Act (NLRA). According to NLRA, employment is always at will, and employers can dismiss an employee at any time provided they do not violate the collective bargaining or employment agreements (Dannin, 2018). The act protects employees against unlawful dismissal due to discrimination, engagement in union activities, or whistleblowing. The NLRA defines dismissal as termination of employment for either personal or business-related reasons. Although there are no specified procedures for dismissal unless stated in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), employees can file complaints with the NLRA if they believe their dismissal qualifies to be termed as unfair labor practices (ULP).
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If an employee files a complaint following unlawful dismissal, the NLRA follows a set of procedures to evaluate the case and determine the relevant actions. First, the employee should ascertain that their case is a ULP. Second, they will file a report with NLRA giving details of their case, after which an agent of NLRA will call them to investigate the case. From this point, NLRA works with the former employee and employer to analyze the reported case in line with the requirements spelled out in its provisions (Ogletree et al., 2020). The third step entails gathering statements from both employee and employer to get a comprehensive view of the case. After this, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decides whether to defer to the grievance. At times, the employer may agree to settle the case, thus avoiding trial. In this case of a dismissed employee, the former employer may choose to reinstate them or offer a reasonable compensation that settles the case. If the case goes to trial, the administrative law judge and attorneys cross-examine the case, and finally, a written decision is made.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Laws
The U.S EEOC outlines laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on gender, race, disability, national origin, or religion.
According to EEOC, veteran discrimination is defined as the denial of employment due to veteran status or disability (Hawkins, 2018). This occurs when employers fail to employ veterans who may be qualified for service due to their past involvement in the military. According to EEOC laws, a veteran, whether disabled or not, has an equal opportunity for employment (Hawkins, 2018). In the case of a veteran interviewed but not hired, the case can be argued depending on the reasons for unemployment. The EEOC will investigate the matter to determine if the veteran was harassed during the interview, such as being asked questions about their disabilities. If he was qualified, the EEOC would assess the possibilities of discrimination on veteran status during the interview. The employer should give reasons why they failed to hire the veteran, which will serve as the basis for a decision on the case.
To eliminate discrimination and promote equal employment, as stated in the EEOC, HR departments need to formulate policies that foster a culture of inclusivity. The recruitment and hiring processes should be guided by EEO laws, should be neutral and objective, and communicated openly. Lastly, although the NLRA and EEOC have enforced equal employment and fair labor practices, employee discrimination has continued to plague many individuals globally. For this reason, organizations need to train their HR personnel on EEO policies and laws to ensure that their recruitment and promotion procedures are fair and inclusive.
Dannin, E. (2018). 6. NLRA rights within other laws. In taking back the workers’ law (pp. 117-127). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Web.
Hawkins, D. (2018). EEOC claim discrimination. Wisconsin Law Journal. Web.
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Ogletree, D., Nash, S., & Stewart, P. C. (2020). The practical NLRB advisor: The NLRA in a pandemic. Labor Law Journal, 71(4), 190. Web.