Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Boston District Office
JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 624-6690 Fax:(617) 624-6606
August 19, 2009
Mr. Timothy Hughes, President
Transport Workers Local 507
22 Reynolds Road
Peabody, MA 01960
LM File Number: 009-258
Case Number: ||||||||||
Dear Mr. Hughes:
This office has recently completed an audit of Transport Workers Local 507 under the Compliance Audit Program (CAP) to determine your organization’s compliance with the provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). As discussed during the exit interview with you on August 14, 2009, the following problems were disclosed during the CAP. The matters listed below are not an exhaustive list of all possible problem areas since the audit conducted was limited in scope.
Title II of the LMRDA establishes certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Section 206 requires, among other things, that labor organizations maintain adequate records for at least five years by which each receipt and disbursement of funds, as well as all account balances, can be verified, explained, and clarified. As a general rule, labor organizations must maintain all records used or received in the course of union business.
For disbursements, this includes not only original bills, invoices, receipts, vouchers, and applicable resolutions, but also documentation showing the nature of the union business requiring the disbursement, the goods or services received, and the identity of the recipient(s) of the goods or services. In most instances, this documentation requirement can be satisfied with a sufficiently descriptive expense receipt or invoice. If an expense receipt is not sufficiently descriptive, a union officer or employee should write a note on it providing the additional information. For money it receives, the labor organization must keep at least one record showing the date, amount, purpose, and source of that money. The labor organization must also retain bank records for all accounts.
The audit of Transport Worker’s 2007 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:
1. Meal Expenses
Local 507’s records of meal expenses did not always include written explanations of union business conducted or the names and titles of the persons incurring the restaurant charges. Local 507 had disbursements for food/meals totaling approximately $1,056 for which there were either no receipts or the receipts were not documented with the names of members participating in the meal or the union purpose for the expense. Union records of meal expenses must include written explanation of the union business conducted and the full names and titles of all persons who incurred the restaurant charges. Also, the records retained must identify the names of the restaurants where the officers or employees incurred meal expenses.
2. Lost Wages
Local 507 did not retain adequate documentation for lost wage reimbursement payments to union officers and employees. The union must maintain records in support of lost wage claims that identify each date lost wages were incurred, the number of hours lost on each date, the applicable rate of pay, and a description of the union business conducted. The OLMS audit found that Local 507 had 101 lost time vouchers and all 101 vouchers lacked the date the lost time was incurred, the hourly rate of pay, and the gross/net amount of the lost time payment. Twelve of the 101 vouchers did not adequately identify the union purpose for the lost time.
During the exit interview, I provided a sample lost time/expense voucher Local 507 may use to satisfy this requirement. The sample identifies the type of information and documentation that the local must maintain for lost wages and other officer expenses.
3. General Reimbursed and Credit Card Expenses
Local 507 did not retain adequate adequate documentation for reimbursed expenses and credit card expenses incurred by union officers and employees totaling at least $556. For example, the union did not retain the hotel bill for a credit card charge of $306.17 for a stay at the Embassy Suites in Irving, Texas in October 2007.
As previously noted above, labor organizations must retain original receipts, bills, and vouchers for all disbursements. The president and treasurer (or corresponding principal officers) of your union, who are required to sign your union’s LM report, are responsible for properly maintaining union records.
Based on your assurance that Local 507 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.
The audit disclosed a violation of LMRDA Section 201(b), which requires labor organizations to file annual financial reports accurately disclosing their financial condition and operations. The Labor Organization Annual Report LM-3 filed by Local 507 for fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, was deficient in the following areas:
1. Disbursements To Officers
Local 507 did not report allowances and other disbursement to officers totaling at least $6,065 in the amounts reported in Item 24 E (Allowances and Other Disbursements). It appears the union erroneously reported these payments in Item 54 (Other Disbursements).
The union must report most direct disbursements to Local 507 officers and some disbursements made on behalf of its officers in Item 24. A "direct disbursement" to an officer is a payment made to an officer in the form of cash, property, goods, services, or other things of value. See the instructions for Item 24 for a discussion of certain direct disbursements to officers that do not have to be reported in Item 24. An "indirect disbursement" to an officer is a payment to another party (including a credit card company) for cash, property, goods, services, or other things of value received by or on behalf of an officer. However, indirect disbursements for temporary lodging (such as a union check issued to a hotel) or for transportation by a public carrier (such as an airline) for an officer traveling on union business should be reported in Item 48 (Office and Administrative Expense).
2. Cash Receipts
The total cash receipts reported in Item 44 (Total Receipts) is not the total cash receipts for the audit year according to the union’s books and the union’s bank statements. The union reported a total of $101,289 on the LM-3, however, the records show the union had $105,902 in cash receipts for the audit year.
3. Cash Reconciliation
It appears that the cash figures reported in Item 25 are not the cash figures according to the union’s books after reconciliation to the bank statements. The instructions for Item 25 state that the union should obtain account balances from its books as reconciled to the balances on bank statements.
Local 507 must file an amended Form LM-3 for fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, to correct the deficient items discussed above. I provided you with a blank form and instructions, and advised you that the reporting forms and instructions are available on the OLMS website (www.olms.dol.gov). The amended Form LM-3 should be submitted to this office at the above address as soon as possible, but not later than September 21, 2009. Before filing, review the report thoroughly to be sure it is complete, accurate, and signed properly with original signatures.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to Transport Workers Local 507 for the cooperation and courtesy extended during this compliance audit. I strongly recommend that you make sure this letter and the compliance assistance materials provided to you are passed on to future officers. If we can provide any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to call.
CC: Mr. Raul Abreu, Secretary-Treasurer