Notice: Despite union boss claims, workers who spend 30 days or less on the job cannot be forced to pay any union dues or fees as a condition of employment
Washington, DC (December 14, 2021) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has published a special legal notice for workers in transportation, retail, foodservice, and other industries who have been hired temporarily to meet demand during the 2021 holiday season. The notice warns that union officials can and often do deceive temporary staff into joining or paying dues to a union with which they do not wish to associate, and details the rights that employees have to resist such illegal demands.
The notice also provides contact information for the Foundation’s staff attorneys so temporary workers can obtain free legal assistance in exercising their right to be free of unwanted union affiliation. In one instance, Foundation attorneys aided a Stockton, CA, seasonal UPS worker, who received a paycheck for $0 after UPS management deducted full union dues from his paycheck at the behest of Teamsters union officials.
The full notice is available in both English and Spanish here: https://www.nrtw.org/special-notice-for-all-seasonal-and-temporary-employees/.
“If you are a temporary worker in any state, regardless of whether it has Right to Work protections,” the notice reads, “you do not necessarily have to join a union or pay union fees as a condition of employment for your temporary job. Union officials and some employers may wrongly tell you it is necessary for you to join a union or pay union fees, but there are some stipulations.”
State Right to Work protections ensure that no private-sector worker can be forced to financially support a union just to stay employed. However, even in non-Right to Work states where private-sector employees can normally be compelled to pay a portion of union dues just to keep their jobs, the notice explains that seasonal workers “should understand first and foremost that if you are working for LESS THAN 30 DAYS on the job, then you are not legally obligated to pay union fees or join a union.”
The notice also urges temporary workers not to sign any documents authorizing union membership or permitting union officials to deduct dues directly out of their wages, explaining that forcing a worker to sign either kind of document is illegal. “Forced union membership could trap you into paying union dues and fees well after you have ended your seasonal employment,” the notice reads.
Finally, the notice encourages seasonal employees to reach out immediately to the Foundation’s legal team if they encounter pressure from their employer or union officials or have questions about their situation.
“American workers who step up during the holidays and go the extra mile to make the season special do not deserve to be subjected to union boss coercion, but Foundation staff attorneys have encountered countless situations in which greedy union bosses misled new workers who don’t understand their rights,” observed National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Seasonal workers should not hesitate to contact the Foundation if they believe they are being forced to fund or otherwise associate with an unwanted union in violation of their legal rights.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in around 250 cases nationwide per year.