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Can you be fired for picketing or striking?

The idea of workers engaging in organized protests or picketing, walk-outs or other types of coordinated activities aimed at calling attention to societal or workplace injustices isn't new. Individuals have been engaging in these types of actions for generations. Even still, many workers are reticent to participate in such activities out of fear that they'll lose their job. Federal law protects a worker's right to strike lawfully.

Workers can strike as per the National Labor Relations Act. Section 7 of that piece of federal legislation outlines how employees are allowed to participate in concerted activities, such as strikes, as part of a collective bargaining process. Section 13 of that same act highlights how government officials shouldn't impede or interfere with a worker's right to strike.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has established guidelines for what it considers to be lawful versus an unlawful strike. The government agency classifies labor practice or economic strikes as legal under existing federal laws. The NLRB refers to any organized employee action that involves strikers threatening the safety or life of those not participating, attacking management or the physical blocking of a plant entrance or exit as illegal.

It may also be considered unlawful for health care workers to picket or strike in some instances. Section 8(g) of the National Labor Relations Act states how individuals employed in the medical field must notify various parties of their intention to strike. These workers must give at least ten days' warning to both the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and their employer before striking or otherwise refusing to work at a health care facility.

The NLRB points out that the fine line that exists between lawful and unlawful picketing or strikes can get blurry at times. It's in instances like this that they're called upon to step in and decide whether certain activities are legal under the National Labor Relations Act. A wrongful termination attorney could help you explore whether your picketing was lawful and can aid you in filing a lawsuit here in New Jersey if your actions resulted in your firing from your Burlington job.

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