The Department of Labor has issued final regulations requiring federal contractors to post notices detailing employees' rights under the U.S. Supreme Court's 1988 decision in Communication Workers v. Beck. In brief, Beck allows employees paying union dues to "opt out" of paying the portion of dues used towards political contributions or other activity not related to administration of the collective bargaining agreement. The rule, which goes into effect on April 28, 2004, requires non-exempt contractors to post notices where workplace postings are located and in other "conspicuous places." The rule also specifies the language to be used on the notice. A downloadable version of a sample Beck notice poster in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format is posted on the DOL's website. Contractors also must include a provision requiring compliance with the Beck posting obligations in all covered contracts, subcontracts, and purchase orders.
The rule will be enforced by the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and violations of the rule may result in sanctions, including the suspension or termination of a current contract and debarment from future contracts. Contractor facilities where a union has not been formally recognized or certified -- or are located in a state where union security agreements cannot be enforced ("right to work" states) -- are not covered by the rule.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the new rule. We are available to help with the practical aspects of coverage by and compliance with this and other DOL regulations. Please contact the Jackson Lewis Affirmative Action Practice Group.