We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Labor Relations?

By Brendan McGuigan
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Labor relations is a broad field encompassing all the myriad interchanges between employers and employees. While the term is most often used to discuss this exchange as it pertains to unionized employees, it may also refer to non-union employees as well. Labor relations are dictated in a large part by the government of a nation and the various regulations it provides to industry regarding the treatment of employees.

In the United States, the field gained a huge boost with the passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935. This act covered a wide range of labor rights, including the right to strike, the right to bargain as a union, and a general right to protest and take action to achieve their desires. The act, also known as the Wagner Act, gave most employees these rights. It was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1937.

To protect the rights mentioned above, the Wagner Act also created a new federal agency, the National Labor Relations Board. The sphere of the agency, and the Wagner Act itself, is limited only to employees operating in the private sector. Government employees, along with the employees of some mass transit (rail and air), are covered under a separate law, the Railway Labor Act.

In 1947, the National Labor Relations Act was changed substantially through the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act. Its passage came only after Congress overrode a presidential veto by President Truman, who described it as a bill of slave labor. The Taft-Hartley Act substantially undermined the earlier act and the power it had granted unions.

While the National Labor Relations Act is the largest and most well-known piece of legislation pertaining to this area, a large amount of legislation can be accurately described as labor relations. Minimum wage laws, fair-practice rules, and legislation dictating danger pay are all examples.

As a theoretical field, labor relations can be thought of as examining the interface between employees and the world at large. This may include relations with employers, but it also includes how the employee sector is affected by everything from globalization to a falling economy. In this sense, the field attempts to minimize the negative impact on the work force by identifying potential disasters and coming up with methods of damage control.

For example, if advancing technology in a sector threatens to result in massive layoffs for the employees as their work is automated, labor relations could come up with ways of reducing the damage done to these employees. This might take the form of re-education programs, preparing the employees for transfer to another field, or looking at ways their existing experience could complement, rather than compete with, the new technologies.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources

Discussion Comments

By anon997541 — On Jan 24, 2017

Discuss the role of an employee association in Labor relations.

By anon345396 — On Aug 19, 2013

I was falsely fired by management. They made up a lot of untrue allegations. I have been at my company for 24 years and have never even been written up. Is this legal?

By anon200109 — On Jul 25, 2011

what is the labor relations manager? I need one example for every kind of manager and three definitions.

By anon112164 — On Sep 19, 2010

I am cashier at a Sam's Club in MO. We were told yesterday that we could no longer have water bottles at our registers. It is very hard doing the work that we do, talking, getting hot, loading carts and not being able to drink water except on our breaks and lunch.

Some shifts it is 2.5 - 3 hours before we get a break. Is this legal?

Yesterday I worked a 5.5 hour shift and my throat was sore when I finished my shift from talking and no water. Please give me some guidance as to what we can do about this.

By anon70623 — On Mar 15, 2010

I would like to know the answer to no. 1 myself,

for i just experienced a situation as shown.

By anon41141 — On Aug 13, 2009

discuss why, in some countries, the public image of labor unions suffered a major decline.

By anon36282 — On Jul 11, 2009

Justify the role of labor relations as a conduit for socio-economic development.

By anon1329 — On May 25, 2007

We have 2 employees we have called floaters. If we don't give them at least one shift per week, are they still deemed employees and if so for how long?

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.