Unions and Union Members:
Title IV of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA) establishes standards for elections of union officers. Local unions must elect their officers by secret ballot and national and international unions and intermediate bodies must elect their officers either by secret ballot of the members or by delegates chosen by secret ballot. Elections by national and international unions must be held at least every five years, intermediate bodies at least every four years, and local unions at least every three years.
Unions and employers may not use their funds to promote the candidacy of any candidate, although union funds may be used to conduct an election. A union member in good standing has the right to nominate candidates, be a candidate subject to reasonable qualifications uniformly imposed, hold office, and support and vote for the candidates of the member's choice. Unions must mail a notice of election to every member at the member's last-known home address at least 15 days before the election.
A union member may file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), alleging violations of union officer election procedures. However, the union member must first exhaust internal election remedies or invoke such remedies without obtaining a final decision within three calendar months.
- Employment Law Guide - Union Members - Provides information on the basic requirements and provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA).
- Conducting Local Union Officer Elections - A Guide for Election Officials Provides information to help election officials plan and conduct local union officer elections. (PDF Version)
- Electing Local Union Officers by Mail Provides information to help election officials conduct union officer elections by mail in accordance with the requirements of the LMRDA.
- Updating Your Union's Membership Mailing List Outlines the procedures for keeping up-to-date information on union membership mailing lists, which is important in complying with LMRDA requirements. (PDF Version)
- Electing Union Officers Provides guidelines and procedures to be followed in the selection of union officers. (PDF Version)
- Union Officer Elections - A Complainant's Guide - Provides general information about the LMRDA requirements for filing a union officer election complaint with OLMS. (PDF Version)
- A Complainant's Guide for Federal Sector Union Members - Includes information on how to file a complaint.
- OLMS En Español - Provides links to OLMS Spanish language resources.
- Fact Sheet on Union Member Rights and Officer Responsibilities under the LMRDA - Provides information under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA) concerning certain rights guaranteed to union members and defines the responsibilities of union officers. (PDF Version) (En Español)
- Fact Sheet on the Office of Labor-Management Standards - Provides information on the Office of Labor Management Standards and how to obtain LMRDA compliance assistance materials. (PDF Version)
- LMRDA Recordkeeping Requirements for Unions - Provides guidance on complying with the recordkeeping requirements of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). These requirements pertain to two types of records one of which is related to union elections. (PDF Version)
- Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA) - Provides for the reporting and disclosure of certain financial transactions and administrative practices of labor organizations and employers.
- 29 CFR Chapter IV - Regulations implementing the LMRDA.
- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) - The NLRB is the federal agency that administers the National Labor Relations Act by conducting elections to determine whether or not employees want union representation and investigating and remedying unfair labor practices by employers and unions.
- The National Mediation Board (NMB) - The NMB is an independent agency that performs a central role in facilitating harmonious labor-management relations within two of the nation's key transportation modes - the railroads and airlines. Pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, NMB programs provide an integrated dispute resolution process to effectively meet the statutory objective of minimizing work stoppages in the airline and railroad industries.
- Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365) (1-866-487-2365)
- For questions on other DOL laws,
please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.