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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

Fact Sheet: Protections for Transit Workers Under SEction 5311 Small Urban & Rural Program (previously known as the Section 18 Program)

When Federal funds are used to acquire, improve, or operate a transit system, Federal law requires arrangements to protect the rights of affected transit employees. The terms and conditions of the protective arrangements are included in the grantee's contract with the Federal Transit Administration.

The requirement to protect transit employees is contained in Section 5333(b) of Title 49 U.S. Code (formerly Section 13(c) of the Federal Transit Act). Section 5333(b) specifies that the arrangements must provide for the preservation of rights and benefits of employees under existing collective bargaining agreements, continuation of collective bargaining rights, protection of individual employees against a worsening of their positions in relation to their employment, assurances of employment to employees of acquired transit systems, priority of reemployment, and paid training or retraining programs.

Non-urban projects funded under Section 5311 of the Federal Transit law (formerly Section 18 of the Federal Transit Act) must satisfy the employee protection requirements of Section 5333(b). This is accomplished through an expedited procedure administered by the Department of Labor (Department) which is based on the application of the "Special Section 13(c) Warranty" (Warranty).

The Department's procedures under the Warranty require that state agencies applying for funds under Section 5311 must take certain steps to demonstrate that the terms of the Warranty are understood and agreed to by the recipients of funds.

Information required to be submitted includes: 1) A letter by the state which certifies to the Department the written acceptance of the Warranty protections; 2) A listing of all transportation providers that are recipients of transportation assistance funded by the project; 3) A listing of all other eligible transportation providers in the geographic service area of each recipient being funded; 4) A listing of all labor organizations representing employees of transportation providers identified in #2 and #3 above.

Additionally the Warranty requires that the recipient post, in a prominent and accessible place, the terms and conditions of the Warranty with a notice stating that the recipient has agreed to comply with these terms.

If the Department's procedures and the requirements of the Warranty are not fulfilled as indicated, the Applicant may be found in "non-compliance," and ineligible for Federal funds until the non-compliance issue is resolved.

Employees who believe they have been affected as a result of Federal transit assistance may file claims under the Warranty, which also requires that the recipient make the necessary arrangements so that covered employees (or their union representative) may file such a claim.

The Department has available more detailed instructions for state agencies, sample documents, copies of the Warranty, and procedural guides. For further information contact:

U.S. Department of Labor
Division of Statutory Programs
Room N-5603
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210

Telephone: (202) 693-0126     
Fax: (202) 693-1342