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amended from time to time, or by any other person who is not an employer as herein
29 U.S.C.A. § 152(3) (emphasis added).
The language of the Act defining "employee" is very broad - broad enough to cover the
unpaid staff in the instant case. The purpose of the Act is to remedy the inefficiency caused
by labor unrest, promote the free flow of conunerce, and to promote an equality of bargaining
power between employers and employees. 29 U.S. C. A. § 151. The Act is seen as a means by which
employees could adjust disputes related to wages, hours, or working conditions with the
employers. 29 U.S.C.A § 151. Courts have consistently held that the Board has substantial
leeway and discretion to interpret the language to effectuate the stated purposes of the Act,
especially where, as here, the Congress intended an understanding of labor relations to guide
the Act's application.(8) Town & Country, 116 S. Ct. at 453. Accordingly, the Board and the
courts have interpreted the purpose and remedies of the Act to cover as employees a much
larger body than just those individuals who receive a weekly wage for their services.
The Act expressly covers as employees those individuals who have been or are currently
involved in a labor dispute which has caused loss of employment, in a traditional sense. 29
(8) As early as 1947, the Supreme Court in NLRB v. E.C. Atkins & Co., 331 U.S.
398 (1947), held that while not bound by the technical and traditional definitions of
terms, the Board was entitled to use all definitions and construe them within the purposes
of the Act. And so the Board, in performing its delegated function of defining and applying
these terms, must bring to its task an appreciation of economic realities, as well as a
recognition of the aims which Congress sought to achieve by this statute. This does not mean
that it should disregard the technical and traditional concepts of "employee" and "employer."
But it is not confined to these concepts. It is free to take account of the more relevant
economic and statutory considerations. And a determination by the Board based in whole or in
part upon those considerations is entitled to great respect by a reviewing court, due to the
Board's familiarity in the Administration of the Act. Id., 331 U.S. at 403-404:-see also.
Town & Country 116 S.Ct. at 453
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