Prohibition against Certain Persons Holding Union Office or Employment
The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), U.S. Department of Labor, is responsible for administering and enforcing most of the provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). The LMRDA was enacted primarily to ensure basic standards of democracy and fiscal responsibility in labor organizations with private sector members. OLMS also administers the Standards of Conduct provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) and the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (FSA) relating to Federal employee organizations, which are comparable to LMRDA requirements.
Is it illegal for people who have been convicted of certain crimes to hold union office or employment?
Yes. Section 504 of the LMRDA prohibits individuals convicted of certain crimes from holding union office or employment or serving in other prohibited capacities. The prohibitions of Section 504 are incorporated into the federal sector Standards of Conduct provisions and, therefore, are applicable to federal employee unions, as well.
What union offices or positions can a convicted person not hold?
- Any officer or employee position such as president, vice-president, recording secretary, financial secretary, treasurer, director, trustee, executive board member, business agent, manager, organizer, or clerical employee;
- Any position as a representative in any capacity of a labor organization such as a job steward or shop committeeman;
- Any position, other than that of a member, involving decisionmaking authority concerning, or custody or control of, labor organization funds or assets; and
- Consultant or adviser to a labor organization.
- Labor relations consultant or adviser to an employer, employer organization, or labor organization;
- Any position having specific collective bargaining authority or direct responsibility in the area of labor-management relations in a corporation or association;
- Officer, director, agent, or employee of any group or association of employers dealing with any labor organization;
- Any position where the occupant is entitled to a share of the proceeds of any entity whose activities are in whole or substantial part devoted to providing goods and services to a labor organization; and
- Officer or executive or administrative employee of any entity whose activities are in whole or substantial part devoted to providing goods and services to a labor organization.
Yes. Organizations convicted of the crimes described in Section 504 are disqualified from serving in prohibited capacities. For example, a convicted consulting firm would be barred from doing business with a labor organization.
What are the crimes that result in a person being barred?
Conviction for several types of crimes will bar a person from serving in prohibited capacities, including but not limited to the following examples:
- Generic criminal offenses; specifically, murder, assault with intent to kill, assault that inflicts grievous bodily injury, rape, arson, extortion, burglary, grand larceny, robbery, bribery, embezzlement, or violation of narcotics laws;*
- Violations of Title II or Title III of the LMRDA, which include knowingly making a false statement of material fact or failing to disclose a material fact in any labor organization report, labor organization officer or employee report, or other report required by the LMRDA; willfully failing to file a required report; willfully violating the recordkeeping requirements in Title II or Title III; willfully making a false entry in labor organization records or other documents required to be kept by the LMRDA or willfully concealing, withholding or destroying such records; willfully and improperly transferring funds from a trusteed local to the parent body imposing the trusteeship; or willfully counting the votes of delegates from a trusteed local under certain circumstances;
- Any felony involving abuse or misuse of an individual’s position or employment in a labor organization or employee benefit plan in order to seek or obtain an illegal gain at the expense of the members of the labor organization or the beneficiaries of the employee benefit plan;
- Conspiracy to commit any of the above crimes;
- Attempting to commit any of the above crimes;
- Any crime in which any of the above crimes is an element; or
- Any crime that is equivalent to the above crimes; for example, obtaining money by false pretenses in certain cases can be equivalent to the listed crimes of grand larceny or embezzlement.