DATE: October 1, 2001

SUBJECT: Department of Labor (DOL); Notice of Employee Rights Concerning Payment of Union Dues or Fees

SOURCE: Federal Register, October 1, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 190, page 50009

AGENCIES: Office of Labor-Management Standards, DOL

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

SYNOPSIS: DOL is proposing a new regulation to implement Executive Order 13201, Notification of Employee Rights Concerning Payment of Union Dues or Fees, dated February 17, 2001. E.O. 13201 requires non-exempt federal contractors and subcontractors to post notices alerting nonunion employees that they cannot be forced to pay fees to unions to support activities not related to collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on E.O. 13201, see the February 22, 2001, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Executive Order 13201, Notification of Employee Rights Concerning Payment of Union Dues or Fees."

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before November 30, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Don Todd, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Programs, Office of Labor-Management Standards, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N-5605, Washington, DC 20210. As a convenience, comments of five or fewer pages may be transmitted by fax to 202-693-1340.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Don Todd, 202-693-0200. Individuals with hearing impairments may call 1-800-877-8339 (TTY/TDD).

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: On February 22, 2001, President Bush signed E.O. 13201 "to promote economy and efficiency in government procurement" by requiring government contractors to inform their workers that federal labor laws give those workers certain rights related to union membership and use of union dues and fees." E.O. 13201 provides the text of a contract clause that federal agencies must include in all nonexempt contracts and subcontracts. That clause requires contractors to post a notice, and specifies the exact language of the notice. The clause also requires contractors to include the same clause in their nonexempt subcontracts and purchase orders, and describes generally the sanctions, penalties, and remedies that may be imposed if the contractor fails to satisfy its obligations under the E.O. and the clause.

The text of the notice informs employees that they cannot be required to join, or maintain membership in, a union in order to keep their jobs; that under certain conditions, the law permits a union and an employer to enter into a union-security agreement requiring employees to pay dues and fees to the union; and that, even when such a union-security agreement exist, employees who are not union members can only be required to pay their share of union costs relating to certain specific activities. The notice also provides a general description of the remedies to which employees may be entitled if these rights have been violated, and provides contact information for further information about those rights and remedies.

To implement E.O. 13201, DOL proposes to add a new Part 470 to Volume 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR Part 470), Obligations of Federal Contractors and Subcontractors; Notice of Employee Rights Concerning Payment of Union Dues or Fees. The new part would consist of the following:

Subpart A -- Preliminary Matters
     470.1What definitions apply to this part?
     470.2Under the Executive Order, what employee notice clause must be included in Government contracts?
     470.3What contracts are exempt from the employee notice clause requirement?
     470.4What contractors or facilities are exempt from the posting requirements?
Subpart B -- Compliance Evaluations, Complaint Investigations, and Enforcement Procedures
     470.10How will the Department determine whether a contractor is in compliance with the Executive Order and this part?
     470.11What are the procedures for filing and processing a complaint?
     470.12What are the procedures to be followed when a violation is found during a complaint investigation or compliance evaluation?
     470.13Under what circumstances, and how, will enforcement proceedings under the Executive Order be conducted?
     470.14What sanctions and penalties may be imposed for noncompliance, and what procedures will the Department follow in imposing such sanctions and penalties?
     470.15Under what circumstances must a contractor be provided the opportunity for a hearing?
     470.16Under what circumstances may a contractor be reinstated?
Subpart C -- Ancillary Matters
     470.20What authority under this part or the Executive Order may the Secretary delegate, and under what circumstances?
     470.21Who will make rulings and interpretations under the Executive Order and this part?
     470.22What actions may the Assistant Secretary take in the case of intimidation and interference?
     470.23What other provisions apply to this part?

While much of proposed 29 CFR Part 470 is taken practically verbatim from the E.O., the proposed rules do "flesh out" some necessary provisions and procedures. The following are some of the more significant ones:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2001 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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