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Federal Bill of Rights and Election Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act

Title I – Bill of Rights of Union Members

• Union members have equal rights to nominate candidates for union office, vote in union elections, and participate in union meetings. They may also meet with other members and express any opinions.

• Unions may impose assessments and raise dues only by democratic procedures.

• Unions must afford members a full and fair hearing of charges against them.

• Unions must inform their members about the provisions of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA).

• Members may enforce Title I rights through a private suit against the union, but may be required to exhaust internal union remedies for up to four months before filing suit.

• Union members and nonunion employees may receive and inspect collective-bargaining agreements. This right may be enforced by the individual or by the U.S. secretary of labor.

Title IV – Elections

• Local unions must elect their officers by secret ballot; international union and intermediate bodies must elect their officers by secret ballot vote of the members or by delegates chosen by secret ballot.

• International unions must hold elections at least every five years, intermediate bodies every four years, and local unions every three years.

• Unions must comply with a candidate’s request to distribute campaign material to members at the candidate’s own expense and must also refrain from discriminating against any candidate with respect to the use of membership lists. Candidates have the right to inspect a list containing the names and addresses of members subject to a union security agreement within 30 days prior to the election.

• A member in good standing has the right to nominate candidates, to be a candidate subject to reasonable qualifications uniformly imposed, to hold office, and to support and vote for the candidates of the member’s choice.

• Unions must mail a notice of election to every member at the member’s lastknown home address at least 15 days prior to the election.

• A member whose dues have been withheld by an employer may not be declared ineligible to vote or to be a candidate for office by reason of alleged delay or default in the payment of dues.

• Unions must conduct regular elections of officers in accordance with their constitution and bylaws and preserve all election records for one year.

• Union and employer funds may not be used to promote the candidacy of any candidate. Union funds may be utilized for expenses necessary for the conduct of an election.

• Union members may hold a secret ballot vote to remove from office an elected local union official guilty of serious misconduct if the secretary of labor finds the union constitution and bylaws do not provide adequate procedures for such a removal.

• Union members who have exhausted internal union election remedies or who have invoked such remedies without obtaining a final decision within three calendar months after their invocation may file a complaint with the secretary within one calendar month thereafter.

• The secretary of labor has authority to file suit in a federal district court to set aside an invalid election and to request the court to order a new election under the supervision of the secretary and in accordance with Title IV.

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