January 14, 2020
TO: Chapter Presidents
RE: DOL Regulation Regarding Notifying Members of Standards of Conduct Applicable to
Federal Sector Unions
SUMMARY: The DOL’s regulations require federal sector unions to notify members of their rights and the responsibilities of union officers. The regulations require chapters that have websites to provide a link to a statement of those rights and responsibilities.
The regulation at 29 C.F.R. §458.4 imposes a duty to publish the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Standards of Conduct governing federal sector unions. The Standards impose three basic requirements on federal sector unions:
• Labor organizations must inform current members about their rights under the standards of conduct provisions at least once every three years;
• Labor organizations must inform new members who join of their rights within 90 days of their becoming new members; and
• National and local labor organizations that have a website must provide a link to the Statement of Union Member Rights and Officer Responsibilities on DOL’s website or to the labor organization’s own statement. The regulation does not require labor organizations to create websites.
NTEU National provides the written notices required by the first two requirements. Accordingly, chapters do not need to take any actions to comply with those two new obligations.
The third requirement, however, applies to any NTEU chapter that already has a website, or elects to create a website in the future. Those chapters must provide a link on their websites to the statement of rights and obligations on NTEU’s website or provide a link to a comparable statement on DOL’s website.
With the exception of the introductory paragraph, the statement provided on NTEU’s website is identical to the statement on the DOL website. The introductory paragraph has been modified to inform employees that they have a statutory right to join a union and that union members must exhaust their union remedies before filing a complaint with DOL. Chapters can access the statement by visiting this link (https://www.nteu.org/dol-rights) or by visiting NTEU’s home page and clicking on the link at the bottom right hand corner of NTEU’s home page labeled “DOL Rights.” Because NTEU has, as permitted by the regulation, included additional, useful information not found in the DOL web site notice, I recommend that chapters satisfy their obligation by providing a link to the Statement of Member Rights and Officer Responsibilities on NTEU’s website.
If you have any questions regarding how to establish the link from the chapter website to the NTEU Statement of DOL Rights and Officer Responsibilities on the NTEU National website, please contact Imran Khan, NTEU Web Master, via e-mail at Imran.Khan@nteu.org.
Anthony M. Reardon