Stockton, CA (February 4, 2015) – A former seasonal United Parcel Service (UPS) employee has filed a federal charge against the company after it illegally confiscated Teamster union dues from his salary, leaving him with a paycheck of $0.
With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Santiago Olmos filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Shortly after Olmos was hired as a seasonal employee for the Christmas delivery rush, he attended UPS training on December 8, 2014. At the meeting, a UPS manager told all of the employees in attendance that they were required to join the Teamster Local 439 union and pay union dues.
Under federal labor law, workers have the right to refrain from formal union membership and full union dues payments. Because California does not have Right to Work protections for workers, nonmember workers can be forced to pay a part of union dues and fees or be fired from their job.
However, under federal labor law, a worker may only be compelled to pay union dues or fees after 30 days of actual employment, a so-called “grace period.” Moreover, union dues and fees may only be deducted from wages after a worker has filled out a union dues deduction authorization – a form union officials use to authorize employers to automatically withhold union dues from employee paychecks.
Olmos only worked for UPS from December 8 to December 24, did not join the union, and did not sign a dues deduction authorization. UPS nonetheless deducted full union dues from his wages. As a result, Olmos’ first paycheck was for $0.
“UPS forced this worker to work effectively for free just before the Christmas holiday,” said Mark Mix, president of National Right to Work. “This case demonstrates that California desperately needs a Right to Work law, which would make union affiliation and dues payments completely voluntary.”
“Only then will California’s workers truly get to work to be paid and not have to pay in order to work,” added Mix.
Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for employees. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.
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.