Federal Contractors Must Post Beck Notice
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule to implement Executive Order 13201 (“the EO”), which requires federal contractors to notify employees of their rights regarding union membership and union dues.
Those rights were established by the Supreme Court’s 1988 decision in Communications Workers v. Beck and related cases. The final rule, which took effect on April 28, applies only to direct federal contracts. It does not apply to federally assisted contracts, such as federal-aid highway contracts.
The EO and rule require federal contractors to include an “employee notice clause” in all nonexempt government contracts and subcontracts. The rule provides the specific language required. However, the rule allows inclusion of the clause by reference to the regulatory citation (29 CFR part 470) rather than inclusion of the entire language verbatim. The following are exempt from the notice clause requirement: (1) contracts for purchases that fall below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, which is presently $100,000; (2) contracts resulting from solicitations issued before April 18, 2001; and (3) specific contracts when “special circumstances in the national interest” call for exemption.
The EO and rule also require federal contractors to post an “employee notice poster” in conspicuous places at all nonexempt work sites, including all places where notices to employees are customarily posted. The following are exempt from the posting requirements: (1) contractors and subcontractors that employ fewer than 15 people; (2) work sites where no union has been formally recognized by the prime contractor or certified as the exclusive bargaining representative of the prime contractor’s employees (this exemption apparently applies regardless of the collective bargaining status of the open shop prime contractor’s subcontractors); (3) work sites in jurisdictions where state law forbids enforcement of union-security agreements (right-to-work states); (4) contractor facilities that receive a waiver because they are separate and distinct from the work performed under the government contract; and (5) work performed outside the United States that does not involve the recruitment or employment of workers within the United States.Click here to download a copy of the poster from the DOL web site or to read further information about the rule.
return to top ]