Sunday, April 12, 2009

OLMS RESCINDS "BECK" REGULATIONS

by Fred Satterwhite, Senior Consultant, DCI Consulting Group

The Office of Labor-Management Standards issued a final rule on March 30, 2009, to rescind the regulations at 29 CFR Part 470, which had implemented the now-revoked Executive Order 13201. The removed regulations had required government contractors and subcontractors with union workforces to post notices ("Beck" posters) informing their employees of certain rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including the right to elect not to join a union and the right of non-union members to pay only dues and fees used for union costs related to collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment. The regulations had also required contractors to include provisions of EO 13201 in their contracts and purchase orders.

On February 4, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13496, which expressly revoked EO 13201 and rendered moot the regulations at 29 CFR Part 470. EO 13496 requires the Secretary of Labor to publish a proposed rule describing new requirements for contractors and implementing enforcement procedures.

The proposed rule is due to be published by the first week of June, 2009, and is expected to include details for the new posting requirement and updated language for inclusion in contracts and purchase orders.

Contractors can remove Beck posters from their facilities, if they have not done so already. In the interim, OFCCP will no longer conduct on-site "Beck reviews", which had become a common practice in recent years during standard compliance reviews when OFCCP was informed that a contractor had union employees at the establishment. Once the Secretary of Labor publishes the proposed rule, contractors should begin planning ahead for required updates to contracts, purchase orders, and facility posters, with an effective date probably sometime near the end of 2009.

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