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2021 Civil Enforcement Actions


On August 24, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Department filed suit against American Postal Workers (APWU) Local 1 (located in Chicago, Ill.) seeking to nullify the union’s December 2020 officer election. The lawsuit seeks an order requiring Local 1 to conduct a new election with new nominations under the Secretary’s supervision, as provided by the LMRDA. The complaint alleges that Local 1 violated Title IV of the LMRDA when it changed the date of the mail ballot election without mailing a notice of the new election date to all members at least 15 days prior to the date of the new election. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On August 17, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the Department filed suit against International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 108 (located in Tampa, Fla.). The lawsuit seeks to nullify the local’s September 5, 2020 election for the offices of business manager/financial secretary, president, and convention delegate. The complaint alleges that the local failed to provide absentee ballots to all the members who requested one. The OLMS investigation revealed that the U.S. Postal Service assigned the local a post office box that was rented to and accessed by a different customer throughout the election period. Since the local used that post office box as the address for all absentee ballot requests, such requests were returned to members as undeliverable, denying members the right to vote. The investigation established that the union’s failure to provide absentee ballots may have affected the outcome of the election. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Atlanta-Nashville District Office.

On August 9, 2021, in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, the Department filed suit against the Patent Office Professional Association, located in Alexandria, Va. The lawsuit seeks to nullify the union’s November 13, 2020 election for the office of president. The complaint alleges that the union failed to comply with a candidate’s reasonable request to distribute campaign literature at the candidate’s expense, in violation of Section 401(c) of the LMRDA, which is made applicable to federal sector unions by the CSRA. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On July 28, 2021, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), located in Washington, D.C., entered into a settlement agreement with OLMS. Under this agreement, OLMS will supervise a new election, including nominations, for the office of AFGE National Vice President, District 4. The settlement was agreed to after the Department of Labor filed suit against AFGE in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The OLMS investigation previously found that AFGE violated Title IV of the LMRDA by failing to follow its constitution and bylaws and failing to provide adequate safeguards to ensure a fair election when one local cast the incorrect number of votes in the election. The complaint further alleged that AFGE failed to follow its constitution and bylaws when it improperly allocated a local union’s votes to two delegates, after that local improperly denied a third, duly elected delegate’s request to attend the October 10, 2020 District 4 caucus. The agreement follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On July 22, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the Department filed suit against International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 688 (located in St. Louis, Mo.). The suit seeks to nullify the union’s November 2020 officer election and order Local 688 to conduct a new election with new nominations under the Secretary’s supervision as provided by the LMRDA. The complaint alleges that Local 688 violated Title IV of the LMRDA when the local failed to provide proper safeguards to ensure ballot secrecy at all of the polling sites. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On June 23, 2021, in the United States Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges, the Department filed suit against American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 96 (located in St. Louis, Mo.). The lawsuit seeks to nullify the local’s June 20, 2020 election for the office of president. The complaint alleges that the local failed to elect the winning candidate by a majority of votes cast, as required by the AFGE Constitution. During the election, Local 96 failed to hold a runoff between the two remaining candidates after a third candidate was declared ineligible and no candidate received a majority of the votes cast. The lawsuit follows a remedial election for president conducted under the supervision of the Department of Labor pursuant to a voluntary compliance agreement with Local 96. In the remedial election, an investigation found that one candidate’s campaign materials were created with support from a local employer, in violation of section 401(g). The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Denver-St. Louis District Office.

On June 3, 2021, United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2209 (located in Roanoke, Ind.) entered into a settlement agreement with OLMS directing that the agency would supervise a new election for the office of Unit I Chairperson by July 17, 2021. The settlement was agreed to after the Department of Labor filed suit against UAW Local 2209 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana Fort Wayne Division. The OLMS investigation previously found that the union denied eligible members the right to run for office when it applied one or more candidate qualifications that were unreasonable because they were not contained in the constitution or bylaws and not uniformly applied, in violation of Section 401(e) of the LMRDA. The agreement follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office. 

On May 13, 2021, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware granted the Secretary’s motion for summary judgment against International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1694 (located in Wilmington, Del.), under Title IV of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). The lawsuit sought to nullify the local’s May 7, 2019 election of officers. In granting the Secretary’s motion, the court ruled that the local failed to provide advanced notice of the application of a candidate qualification that required candidates to refrain from serving as superintendent, foreman, or assistant foreman for the 24 months leading up to the election. The qualification had not been applied in any of the three elections since its adoption. The court also ruled that Local 1694 improperly disqualified a nominee pursuant to Section 504 of the LMRDA. The new election must be completed, under the supervision of the Secretary of Labor, for the offices of president, vice president, recording secretary, financial secretary, business agent, three executive board members, and three auditing committee members, no later than 60 days from the date of the order. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

On April 26, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the Department filed suit against the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). The suit seeks to nullify AFGE’s election for the offices of National Vice President, District 4 and Fair Practices Affirmative Action Coordinator, District 4 – two positions in the October 10, 2020 election conducted at the 2020 AFGE District 4 caucus. The suit seeks to order AFGE to conduct a new election, including nominations, for those two positions, under the Secretary’s supervision. The complaint alleges that AFGE violated Title IV of the LMRDA by failing to follow its constitution and bylaws and failing to provide adequate safeguards to ensure a fair election when one local union cast the incorrect number of votes in the election. The complaint further alleges that AFGE failed to follow its constitution and bylaws when it improperly allocated a different local union’s votes to two delegates, after that local improperly denied a third, duly-elected delegate’s request to attend the 2020 District 4 caucus. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On April 2, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, the Department filed suit against United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 2209 (located in Roanoke, Ind.). The lawsuit seeks to nullify the July 16 - 17, 2020 election for the office of unit 1 chairperson. The complaint alleges that the union applied one or more candidate qualifications that were unreasonable because they were not specifically contained in the UAW constitution and bylaws, were not uniformly applied, and denied a member in good standing the right to be a candidate. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

On March 18, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, a motion for summary judgement was granted to the Department in its suit filed against New Haven Federation of Teachers (NHFT) Local 933 (located in New Haven, Conn.), concerning its February 27, 2020 rerun election for the office of president. The suit was filed after OLMS’ investigation determined that Local 933 improperly denied a member in good standing the opportunity to run for president when the union disciplined a member from holding office without serving the member with written specific charges or providing a full and fair hearing. The judgement calls for a remedial election for the office of president, including nominations, supervised by the Department of Labor. The summary judgement follows an investigation by the OLMS Boston-Buffalo District Office.

On February 25, 2021, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2145 (located in Richmond, Va.) entered into a settlement agreement with OLMS directing that the agency would supervise new nominations and election for the offices of president, executive vice president, and trustee chairman by December 2021. OLMS and AFGE Local 2145 further agreed that the local would waive a section of its bylaws so that individuals elected to office in this election would serve terms of office for at least 28 months, but no more than 36 months. The settlement was agreed to after the Department of Labor filed suit against AFGE Local 2145 in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. The OLMS investigation previously found that the union denied eligible members the right to vote when it did not provide members with sufficient information so they could request absentee ballots, and when the election committee chairman was not available to process the requests that were received. Additionally, the union failed to comply with candidates’ reasonable requests to distribute campaign literature at their expense when it did not make campaign literature mailing labels available to some of the candidates who had requested them until three days before the election. The agreement follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office.

On January 8, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Department filed suit against International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 (located in Philadelphia, Pa.). The suit seeks to nullify the union’s June 2020 officer election void, and order Local 98 to conduct a new election with new nominations under the Secretary’s supervision as provided by the LMRDA. The complaint alleges that Local 98 violated Title IV of the LMRDA when incumbent officers and their supporters threatened and intimidated other members who sought to challenge incumbent union leadership. The complaint further alleges that this interference through threats and retaliation denied members the rights to nominate, be nominated, and vote for candidates of their choice without improper interference or threat of reprisal. The lawsuit follows an investigation by the OLMS Philadelphia-Pittsburgh District Office.

 

Last Updated: 8-25-21