Addressing wages and working conditions

You have the right to organize with others to improve wages and working conditions, to question your employer’s pay practices, and assert your rights.

Federal law protects your right to act together with other employees to address conditions at work, with or without a union. Workers covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) have the right to form, join, or assist a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes or work together with coworkers to improve terms and conditions of employment. This protection extends to certain work-related conversations conducted on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

You have the right to act with coworkers to address work-related issues, such as openly talking with one or more coworkers about your wages, benefits, and working conditions, or joining with coworkers to talk directly to your employer about problems in your workplace. You have a right to participate or not participate in any of these activities. You can’t be fired, disciplined, demoted, or penalized in any way for engaging in such activities.

Two men talking in warehouse

We’re here to help.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is a Federal agency that protects your right to join together with other employees to improve your wages and working conditions, with or without the help of a union. For assistance, please call:

1-844-762-NLRB (1-844-762-6572)

Spanish assistance is available.

Callers who are deaf or hard of hearing who wish to speak to an NLRB representative should send an email to An NLRB representative will email the requestor with instructions on how to schedule a relay service call.

Additional resources

You have the same rights as all covered employees under the National Labor Relations Act regardless of your immigration status. If you have filed a charge or are a witness and you or your representative tells us that there is NLRA protected activity at a worksite and immigration relief is necessary to protect employees who are exercising those rights or participating in the NLRB process, the NLRB will consider seeking immigration relief for employees at that worksite including deferred action, parole, U or T visa status, or other relief as available and appropriate.

Many federal employment laws, including, for example, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and temporary work visa programs, also contain anti-retaliation provisions that protect employees.

Generally, anti-retaliation regulations prohibit retaliation, harassment, intimidation or the taking of adverse action against employees.

You have the right to inquire about your pay, hours of work or other rights and speak to your employer or employer’s representative. You have the right to question your hours of work or pay or pay practices and assert your rights.

You have the right to seek information about your rights or file a complaint if you think your rights have been violated.

You also have the right to cooperate with an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division without interference, intimidation, or harassment.

Need more information?
The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors are a set of online tools developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under Federal employment laws.