Whether you work for a small business, run your own company, or are employed by the government, you probably have an opinion about unions. You might think they improve the lives of working people, or believe that they hinder economic growth. Because of varying yet fervent views like these, there is no shortage of laws that regulate the rights and responsibilities of labor organizations. One such law is the Landrum-Griffin Act, described in more detail below.
Purpose of the Landrum-Griffin Act
The Landrum-Griffin Act, also known as the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), was originally enacted in 1959 to protect employees’ rights to organize, bargain collectively, and select their own representatives. According to congressional investigations, there had been instances of corruption, racketeering, and other wrongdoing by the labor movement. The Landrum-Griffin Act sought to prevent such improper practices by labor organizations, employers, and others by establishing a Bill of Rights for union members, implementing reporting and disclosure requirements, and creating standards for the election of officers of labor organizations, among other rules and procedures.
The Landrum-Griffin Act and Rights of Members of Labor Organizations
Title I of the Landrum-Griffin Act details a Bill of Rights for members of labor organizations. The five rights enumerated are the following:
Any member whose rights have been violated can bring a civil action in a district court for damages, including injunctive relief.
Reporting Requirements Under the Landrum-Griffin Act
The Landrum-Griffin Act also spells out administrative and financial reporting requirements for employers, labor organizations, and their officers and employees. For example, labor organizations must report their assets and liabilities, salaries of officers, and any loans made to employees, members, or businesses. Officers and some employees of labor organizations must report certain stocks and other interests in businesses with specified relationships to labor organizations. And most employers are required to report payments or loans made to labor organizations, as well as payments made to employees regarding a labor dispute or their rights to organize and bargain collectively.
The Landrum-Griffin Act and Union Elections
To guard against corruption and protect members’ rights to elect their union representatives, Title IV of the Landrum-Griffin Act specifies rules and procedures for union elections. These rules include the following:
The Office of Labor-Management Standards, a division of the Department of Labor, handles civil and criminal investigations into election fraud and other violations of the Landrum-Griffin Act.
Protect Your Labor Rights with the Help of an Attorney
Given the sheer number of rules and regulations, labor law can be complicated. But the rights and practices protected by these laws can have a big impact on your life and career. Whether your rights are in jeopardy, or you’re attempting to comply with laws like the Landrum-Griffin Act, get help from a local labor law attorney today.