In most states, unions may bargain collectively for a contract that permits the union to cause an employer to discharge employees who fail to pay union dues. But that is an exception to the general rule that unions may not cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against (or in favor of) employees on union-related grounds. For example, unions may not cause an employer to demote an employee who incurs the union's hostility, or to tie seniority to union membership.
Section 8(b)(2) of the Act makes it unlawful for a labor organization or its agents "to cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an employee in violation of Section 8(a)(3) of the Act or to discriminate against an employee with respect to whom union membership has been denied or terminated on some ground other than his failure to tender the periodic dues and the initiation fees uniformly required as a condition of acquiring or retaining membership." For example, you may not
- Cause an employer to discharge an employee for a reason other than his failure to pay periodic dues or initiation fees under a union-security agreement.
- Cause an employer to discharge an employee under a union-security agreement where you failed to give the employee notice and a reasonable opportunity to become current on his dues before securing his discharge.
- 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.
- Maintain a union-security agreement that does not give employees at least 30 days to become members (7 days if the union-security clause is contained in a Section 8(f) "prehire" agreement).
- Cause an employer to change an employee's wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment for the worse because he did something to incur your hostility, such as opposing a candidate you favor in a union election.
- Refuse to refer an individual for employment for reasons other than nonpayment of dues, unless the refusal is necessary to the performance of your representative function.
- Cause or attempt to cause an employer to take action against an employee for a reason that is arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith.
- Enter into an agreement with an employer tying seniority to union membership or previous employment with a unionized business. (However, a provision granting union stewards superseniority for layoff and recall purposes is lawful.)
- Enter into a collective-bargaining agreement containing a union-security clause 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 that contains a union-security clause with an employer in the building and construction industry without regard to your majority or minority status.