The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently launched a new, free mobile app that is available for both iPhone and Android users. According to the NLRB, the app provides employees, unions, and employers with information regarding their rights and obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) and contact information for regional offices.
To learn more about employee rights under the NLRA, if a user clicks on the app’s “What’s the Law” menu, for example, the user can choose the category “employees,” then click on the statement “I am not represented by a union,” and the app will provide a list of issues. Check the box for an issue, such as social media use, and the app will display a message about that issue, e.g., “federal law gives you the right to band together with coworkers to improve your lives at work – including joining together in cyberspace, such as Facebook.”
The app provides a couple of routes for an employee to get in touch with a regional office. A user can either scroll through a list of NLRB regional offices and then click on the one he or she wishes to contact, or she or he can give permission for the app to trace the location of the user’s smart phone to identify the closest regional office.
The NLRB is not the first government agency to forge into the app frontier. The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) introduced a “Timesheet” app (available for download only to iPhone devices) a couple of years ago. Its purpose is to give employees the ability to calculate their hours worked and overtime pay. Also, the DOL previously published two other apps: OSHA Heat Index for Outdoor Workers Tool and Labor Statistics app (available to either iPhone or Android devices).