Skip to page content
Office of Labor-Management Standards

Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)


History of OLMS

OLMS' history dates back to the September 14, 1959 passage of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended (LMRDA), which was enacted by Congress to ensure certain basic standards of democracy and fiscal responsibility in labor organizations representing employees in private industry. The organization's original name was the Bureau of Labor-Management Reports (BLMR). It was re-named the Labor-Management Services Administration (LMSA) in 1963.

At one time or another LMSA had responsibilities which included pension and welfare plans, Federal labor relations, veterans reemployment rights, and an anti-racketeering/organized crime strike force. Through reorganizations and the creation of new agencies through legislation, these functions were subsequently transferred to other Federal agencies.

With the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) in 1978, the federal labor relations program was transferred to the newly created Federal Labor Relations Authority. However, the Standard of Conduct provisions of the CSRA which regulate internal affairs of federal-sector unions remained in LMSA. In 1980, the Foreign Service Act (FSA) was passed and unions representing employees of the Department of State and U.S. Information Agency (USIA) became subject to Standards of Conduct requirements.

The agency became known as OLMS in 1984. In 1992, OLMS became part of the Employment Standards Administration (ESA). In 1993, OLMS was transferred to the newly created Office of the American Workplace (OAW). In 1996, OAW ceased to exist and OLMS was transferred back to ESA. In 2009, ESA was eliminated and OLMS became an independent agency reporting directly to the Secretary of Labor.

Office of Labor-Management Standards Historical Summary:

1959: The Bureau of Labor-Management Reports (BLMR) was formed after passage of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, as amended (LMRDA).

1963: In August of 1963, BLMR was renamed the Labor-Management Services Administration (LMSA).

1964: LMSA assumed responsibilities under section 13(c) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act and similar provisions in other Federal statutes to protect the interests of employees affected by Federal grant programs and other Federal actions.

1970: Executive Order 11491 created the Office of Federal Labor-Management Relations (FLMR) within LMSA to implement the responsibilities for labor-management relations in the federal sector. In addition, the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 was enacted and Postal Service employees came within the protections of the LMRDA.

1978: LMSA assumed employee protection responsibilities under the Airline Deregulation Act. Also in that year as a result of the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA), the FLMR program was subsequently transferred to the newly created Federal Labor Relations Authority. The Standards of Conduct provisions of the CSRA which regulate the internal affairs of federal-sector labor unions remained with LMSA.

1980: The Foreign Service Act (FSA) was passed and unions representing employees of the Department of State and U.S. Information Agency (USIA) became subject to the Standards of Conduct requirements in section 4117 of the FSA.

1984: LMSA became the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) and was headed by the Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Standards. The employee protection and labor-management relations and cooperation programs were then transferred to a separate entity known as the Bureau of Labor-Management Relations and Cooperative Programs (BLMRCP).

1992: OLMS became part of the Employment Standards Administration (ESA).

1993: OLMS and the programs formerly in BLMRCP were merged into a newly created agency known as the Office of the American Workplace (OAW), which was created, in part, to promote high performance workplaces.

1996: OAW ceased to exist and OLMS again became part of ESA. The employee protection functions were incorporated in OLMS and became the OLMS Division of Statutory Programs.

2009: ESA was eliminated and OLMS became an independent agency reporting directly to the Secretary of Labor.

Last Updated: 08-05-11