Employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act sometimes forget about requirements of the Act which apply even when the employer does not have employees represented by a union.

One example relates to Section 8(a)(2) of the National Labor Relations Act and the issue of employee committees. Section 8(a)(2) makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer “to dominate or interfere with the formation of any labor organization or contribute financial or other support to it.”

The decision of the National Labor Relations Board (“the Board”) in Electromation dealt with issues of what constitutes a “labor organization” and “domination.”

The Board in Electromation indicated that employee committees can sometimes fall within the meaning of a “labor organization” for purposes of the Act stating in part that:

…the organization at issue is a labor organization if (1) employees participate, (2) the organization exists, at least in part, for the purpose of “dealing with” employers, and (3) these dealings concern “conditions of work” or concern other statutory subjects, such as grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, or hours of employment.

The Board in Electromation also indicated that finding illegal “domination” is sometimes not very difficult stating in part that “although section 8(a)(2) does not define the specific acts that may constitute domination, a labor organization that is the creation of management, whose structure and function are essentially determined by management . . . and whose continued existence depends on the fiat of management, is one whose formation or administration has been dominated under Section 8(a)(2).”

Covered employers should consider the applicable decisions interpreting Section 8(a)(2) of the National Labor Relations Act before establishing employee committees.