union labor law

Labor unions have three authorities that they are governed by and the first is the labor management and reporting disclosure act of 1959 (LMRDA). The LMRDA has several provisions designed to promote the financial integrity of unions, including those pertaining to financial reporting, recordkeeping, bonding and loans. The LMRDA applies to unions that represent private sector employees and the US Postal Service employees. The reporting requirements apply to labor organizations, except state or local central bodies and unions representing only public employees whose employer is any state or political subdivision of a state, such as a county or municipality. An intermediate body that is subordinate to a national or international labor organization covered by the LMRDA, however, is subject to the reporting requirements even if it does not represent any private sector employees. In addition, these requirements may apply to officers and employees of such unions, employers, labor relations consultants and surety companies. The second authority that labor organizations must adhere to is the Unions national or international constitution and bylaws. These bylaws design a framework and mission statement of the organization as well as fiduciary responsibilities of the officers , trustees and employees. The third authority governing labor organizations is the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS determines that the organization is following the mission statement of the national or international, verifies that all expenditures are both ordinary and necessary in the operations and that all income is following the constitutional mission. They will determine if there is also factors that create unrelated business taxable income from the transactions audited.

In the United States, there are three institutions that govern labor union laws: the Labor Management and Reporting Disclosure Act of 1959, the internal bylaws of individual labor unions, and the Internal Revenue Service. The authority of these institutions with respect to the rights and privileges of both unions and employers varies from the local to the national, the parochial and the universal, and the broad and the specific. Below you will find an outline of each of these authorities, their jurisdiction, and how they impact labor union laws today.

The Labor Management and Reporting Disclosure Act of 1959

The first major authority that governs labor union laws is the Labor Management and Reporting Disclosure Act of 1959, or LMRDA. Also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act, the LMRDA has several provisions that are designed to promote the financial integrity of unions. Specific areas of oversight include those pertaining to financial reporting, recordkeeping, bonding and loans.
The regulatory scope of the LMRDA is mostly limited to unions that represent private sector employees, with the only affected public sector unions being those that represent US Postal Service employees. State or local central bodies and unions that represent only public employees, and whose employer is any state or political subdivision of a state (such as a county or municipality), are exempt from the LMRDA’s reporting requirements.
Despite its ostensible concern with the private sector, the LMRDA does subject its reporting requirements to intermediate bodies that are subordinate to a national or international labor organization within its purview. These requirements apply even if the union does not represent any private sector employees. In addition, they may apply to officers and employees of such unions, employers, labor relations consultants and surety companies.

Internal Labor Union Laws & Bylaws

The second authority that each labor organization must adhere to is its own constitution and bylaws, the scope of which may be national or international. Labor union bylaws design a framework and mission statement of the organization as well as fiduciary responsibilities of the officers, trustees and employees. If and when a union’s constitution or bylaws are amended, the union in question is obliged to file these amendments with the annual reports that are required by the LMRDA.

The Internal Revenue Service

Finally, the third authority that oversees labor organizations and influences labor union laws is the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS determines if a labor organization is following the mission statement outlined in its national or international constitution and bylaws. In addition, it verifies that all expenditures are both ordinary and necessary to carry out the union’s operations, and that all income is consistent with the union’s constitutional mission. The IRS will determine if there are factors that create unrelated business taxable income from the transactions audited.

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