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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Requiring
Government Contractors to Post Union Members’ Rights

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Labor published final regulations today implementing Executive Order 13201, which requires government contractors and subcontractors to post notices informing their employees of their rights relating to union membership and the use of their union dues and fees.

“When everyone is informed of the law, workers, employers and unions all win,” said Victoria A. Lipnic, Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards. “We are charged with and committed to protecting workers and enforcing laws that guard their wages, their safety and their rights.”

The final rules issued today implement the Executive Order which requires government contractors to post notices informing employees that they cannot be forced to join a union in order to keep their jobs. These notices must also advise non-union employees who have entered into union-security agreements that they can object to their dues or fees being used for purposes other than collective bargaining, contract administration or grievance adjustment. Those employees are entitled to an appropriate reduction in fees or dues and a refund for past payments used for the objected purposes.

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Communications Workers of America v. Beck that the National Labor Relations Act prohibits unions from spending the dues or fees collected from non-union, bargaining unit employees on activities that are not related to the organizational purposes of a union. President George H.W. Bush issued Executive Order 12800 in 1992 to implement the court’s ruling. In 1993, President Bill Clinton revoked Bush’s order with Executive Order 12836. President George W. Bush revoked that order with Executive Order 13201 on Feb. 17, 2001. The Department of Labor issued a proposed rule to implement the Executive Order in 2003 that was subject to a public comment period.

On May 3, 2001, the Office and Professional Employees International Union and its Local 537, the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers and the UAW-Labor Employment and Training Corp., filed suit against Chao in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to challenge the executive order.

On January 2, 2002 the district court for the District of Columbia enjoined enforcement of the executive order, but the D.C. Court of Appeals in UAW-Labor Employment and Training Corporation v. Chao reversed the district court’s decision, allowing the department to proceed with implementation of the final regulations.

The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will implement the regulations jointly. Complaints may be filed with either agency. OFCCP will conduct investigations and compliance evaluations. For additional information visit OFCCP site:

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employment Standards Administration
March 29, 2004