Employees have the right to unionize and to join together to advance their interests as employees. They also have the right to refrain from such activity. It is unlawful for a labor union to restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights. For example, you may not restrict employee-members' freedom to resign from the union, or fine an employee-member for filing a decertification petition.
Section 8(b)(1)(A) of the Act makes it unlawful for a labor organization or its agents "to restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed them in Section 7 of the Act, provided that this paragraph shall not impair the right of a labor organization to prescribe its own rules with respect to the acquisition or retention of membership therein." For example, you may not
- Use violence or threats of violence to coerce employees. This includes violence directed at nonemployees, if employees are present or will hear about it.
- Breach your duty to fairly represent employees. Although your conduct is entitled to a wide range of reasonableness, you may not act arbitrarily, discriminatorily, or in bad faith. "Bad faith" means fraud, deceit, or dishonesty.
- Photograph or videotape employees engaged in activity protected by Section 7 of the Act, unless you have a legitimate reason to do so and have communicated that reason to the employees (unless itâ€™s self-evident) in a timely manner.
- Discipline a member for filing unfair labor practice charges.
- Discipline a member for refusing to engage in unlawful or unprotected activity.
- Fine a member for filing a decertification petition.
- Discipline a member for testifying against other members in a grievance meeting or an arbitration proceeding.
- Fine employees who are no longer members.
- Restrict membersâ€™ freedom to resign.
- Impose discipline on a member that impacts his employment.
- Require that fines be paid before you will accept payment of dues under a union-security agreement.
- Fail to give an employee notice and a reasonable opportunity to become current on his dues before seeking his discharge under a union-security agreement.
- Cause an employer to discharge an employee under a union-security agreement if you failed to give the employee notice of his right under Communication Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988), to be a nonmember and object to paying the portion of his dues that is not germane to your representative duties.
- Expel an employee from membership and then threaten to cause his discharge for nonpayment of full membership dues.
- Accept recognition from an employer if you do not enjoy the uncoerced support of a majority of the employees you seek to represent.
- Enter into a collective-bargaining agreement if you do not enjoy the uncoerced support of a majority of the employees you seek to represent. Under Section 8(f) of the Act, however, you may enter into a collective-bargaining agreement with an employer in the building and construction industry without regard to your majority or minority status.