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Keeping Members Informed About Their Rights and Union Support

October 2, 2020

Department of Labor Building

Keeping members informed about their rights and the resources our union provides is essential to protecting them on the job. As part of this effort, the International’s Legal Department is helping locals comply with the provision of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) that requires unions to notify members about  their rights and the obligations of unions under the LMRDA. The LMRDA is the law that regulates unions’ internal affairs, union officer elections, union finances and the rights of union members.

To comply with this requirement, locals should:

  • Post the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) publication titled “Union Members: Know Your Rights” (or the information contained in it) on their websites to notify members of their LMRDA rights. A copy of this publication is available in English and Spanish.
    • To more fully inform members of their legal rights, locals may want to also include with this DOL publication notices of worker rights under other federal labor and employment laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Unlike these other laws, which protect all union-represented workers, the LMRDA only affords rights to workers who are union members. Locals can inform their members that LMRDA rights are an important benefit of union membership.
    • The International Union will soon post this DOL publication, along with notices of worker rights under other laws, to inform all UFCW members of their legal rights.
  • Every three years, include this DOL publication (or the information contained in it) in a print or electronic newsletter, magazine or other communication to members. Posting the publication only at the union hall is insufficient.
  • Include this publication (or the information contained in it) in all new member or orientation packets.

The LMRDA provision requiring unions to notify members of LMRDA provisions is located at 29 U.S.C. §415.  It does not require locals to notify members in any particular way. However, courts will find that unions have complied with this requirement if they make a good faith attempt to reach their current members in ways that enable members to learn of the LMRDA’s provisions, like posting the DOL’s publication on their websites and including it in communications to members and in orientation materials.

If you have any questions about the requirement, please have your Region Director contact the Legal Department.

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