Filing Unfair Labor Practice Charges

Individual Michigan employees who believe that either their union or employer has committed an unfair labor practice against them or others may file a charge with the regional director of the NLRB in Detroit.96 Employees must file within 6 months of the incident or be barred by the period of limitations.97 (The same limitations apply for public-sector employees filing unfair labor practice charges with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.)

The NLRB regional office will investigate the charge and typically determine within 30 to 45 days whether it has merit. If the charge is meritorious, the NLRB will issue a complaint and prosecute the case on behalf of the aggrieved employees and act as counsel for them. The case is heard by an NLRB administrative law judge, then the board members in Washington review the judge's decision and affirm, modify, or reject it entirely. The board's decision may in turn be appealed by employees, the employer, or the union in the federal court of appeals in the appropriate jurisdiction.

The NLRA is not a criminal statute; it is entirely remedial. The act authorizes the NLRB to issue cease-and-desist orders against parties found guilty of unfair labor practices and to take certain actions including ordering the re-instatement of dismissed or striking employees with or without back pay. Once the NLRB rules on a given case, it normally requires notices that inform employees about its decision to be posted in the workplace.