If you must use a union hiring hall to obtain work with an employer, it is likely that the employer has an "exclusive" hiring hall agreement with the union. An "exclusive" hiring hall arrangement means that the employer has agreed to hire only employees referred from a union hiring hall.
You cannot be required to join a union to obtain work through an exclusive hiring hall. Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the legal right not to be union members. Moreover, an exclusive union hiring hall cannot discriminate against employees because of their nonmembership in the union, and must apply the same non-discriminatory rules to both union members and nonmembers who seek work through the hall. However, unions sometimes discriminate against nonmembers in the operation of hiring halls, and if that discrimination is against you in making referrals from its hiring hall, you can contact us to request legal aid.
Whether nonmembers can be forced to pay monies to a union to obtain work through an exclusive hiring hall depends on whether you are in a Right to Work state. If you are unsure whether you are in a Right to Work state, please click here.
If you seek work in a state that is not a Right to Work state, you can be forced to pay fees to obtain employment through an exclusive hall even if you are a nonmember. However, the most nonmembers can be required to pay for using an exclusive hiring hall is a fee that equals their share of what the union can prove is its costs of operating the hiring hall. If you obtain a job through an exclusive hiring hall and are a nonmember, after thirty days on the job you may be required to pay the part of union dues that is used for collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment. Please click here for more information about your right to pay reduced dues in a non-Right to Work state and how to exercise that legal right.
If you are in a Right to Work state, whether you can be forced to pay compulsory union fees to obtain employment through an exclusive hiring hall as a nonmember is a disputed and complicated question of law. If you are a nonmember forced to pay union hiring hall fees in a Right to Work state, you can contact us if you would like more information about your legal rights and options.
If you would like to learn more about your rights as a private sector employee, click on the appropriate question below:
- If I work in a Right to Work state, can I resign my union membership and cut off any further dues collections from my salary?
- Can I be required to be a union member or pay dues to a union?
- How can I resign my union membership?
- How do I cut off the use of my dues for politics and other nonbargaining activities?
- What if I have religious objections to joining or financially supporting a union?
- What if I am a victim of union violence?
- What if I want to work during a strike?
- If I believe my rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses, can I file my own unfair labor practice charges against the union or the employer at the National Labor Relations Board?