What is Protected Concerted Activity?

Instructor: Tisha Collins Batis

Tisha is a licensed real estate agent in Texas. She holds bachelor's in legal studies and a master's degree in criminal justice.

This lesson will define protected concerted activity, provide an example of a recent case involving protected concerted activity, and discuss laws related to it. Upon completion, the reader should have a firm grasp of the concept of protected concerted activity.

What is Protected Concerted Activity?

In September of 1919, the police in Boston, Massachusetts officially went on strike. They wanted to see a change in their working conditions and salaries. The strike cost five people their lives, resulted in injuries to several more, and cost the police officers who were involved in the strike their jobs. Officers who replaced them were paid more and provided with better working conditions. The efforts of police officers who did participate in the strike did not help them, but they did help the police officers who held their positions in the future.

In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was written. This act gave the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) the ability to fight for workers who were penalized by their employers in some way for taking part in protected concerted activity (i.e. a strike). Penalties for striking could include being suspended, fired, or penalties of any other kind. Basically, the NLRB would fight for these employees. Section 7 of the NLRA involves protected concerted activity. This ensures that employees are able to engage in activity to better their working conditions without fear of being penalized.

Protected concerted activity is an activity that an employee or employees participate in to try to improve working conditions. Two or more employees can work together to improve these conditions, or one employee can work on behalf of multiple employees. While many might think that a union must be involved as well, this is not the case. A union is not required; an employee's concerted activity can be protected even without representation by a union.

Some requirements exist for activity to qualify as protected concerted activity. For example, two questions must be answered positively for protected concerted activity to exist. First, the activity itself must be concerted. In other words, it must be planned or coordinated. Secondly, the activity must be to protect and/or aid those involved. Therefore, for protected concerted activity to take place, it has to be planned or coordinated by workers together in an attempt to aid and/or protect those workers.

Workers on Strike

A Recent Case

Many things have changed since the National Labor Relations Act was written in 1935. Technological advances have surged and the world has been introduced to social media. One recent case involving protected concerted activity occurred because of material that was published on social media. In the case of Three D, LLC v. NLRB, employees who said many defamatory things about their employer on social media were fired. A suit was filed, and the employees claimed that they should not have lost their jobs because they were involved in protected concerted activity.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account