Employment Law Guide
Chapter: Notice of Employee Rights Concerning Payment of Union Dues
Updated: September 2005
Executive Order 13201 (E.O. 13201)
Executive Order 13201 (E.O. 13201) covers government contractors and subcontractors with a contract equal to
or above the Simplified Acquisition Threshold of $100,000, which was entered into on or after April 28, 2004,
and resulted from solicitations issued on or after April 18, 2001.
E.O. 13201 requires government contractors to post a notice (the Beck Poster) informing their employees that
they have certain rights related to union membership and use of union dues and fees under federal law. These
contractors must include an employee notice clause in subcontracts or purchase orders entered into in connection
with a covered contract. The employee notice clause requires subcontractors to also post the notice, and to include
the requirement in further subcontracts.
The posting requirement does not apply to contractor establishments or construction work sites in jurisdiction where
state law forbids enforcement of union-security agreements. The posting requirement also does not apply to contractor
establishments or construction worksites where no union has been formally recognized by the contractor or certified as
the exclusive bargaining representative.
The posting requirement does not apply to contractor establishments or construction worksites that involve a prime
contractor and one or more subcontractors at a single site where the prime contractor, i.e., the person holding the contract
with the government contracting agency, has not formally recognized a union and where no union has been certified as the
exclusive bargaining representative of the prime contractor’s employees.
The E.O. 13201 poster informs employees of their rights under the decisions of the Supreme Court in
Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988), and related cases. Under federal law, employees cannot be required to
join a union or maintain membership in a union in order to retain their jobs. Under certain conditions, the law permits
a union and an employer to enter into a union-security agreement requiring employees to pay uniform periodic dues and
initiation fees. However, employees who are not union members can object to the use of their payments for certain purposes
and can only be required to pay their share of union costs relating to collective bargaining, contract administration, and
If employees do not want to pay that portion of dues or fees used to support activities not related to collective bargaining,
contract administration, or grievance adjustment, they are entitled to an appropriate reduction in their payment. If an employee
believes that he/she has been required to pay dues or fees used in part to support activities not related to collective bargaining,
contract administration, or grievance adjustment, that employee may be entitled to a refund and to an appropriate reduction in future
payments. Further information concerning these rights is available from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). To locate the
nearest NLRB office, visit the NLRB Web Site or call toll-free 1-866-667-6572.
Complaints alleging violations of E.O. 13201 may be filed with any office of the
Employment Standards Administration’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) or
Office of Federal Contract Compliance
Additional information and compliance assistance about E.O. 13201 and the posting requirement,
including copies of the poster, are available on the
Executive Order 13201 Compliance Assistance
page of the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Web site
or by calling the Department’s Toll-Free Help Line 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365).
If, after administrative enforcement proceedings, the Assistant Secretary for Employment Standards finds that
a contractor has violated the Executive Order, the Assistant Secretary may:
- Direct a contracting agency to cancel, terminate, suspend, or cause to be canceled, terminated, or suspended,
any contract or any portions thereof, for failure of the contractor to comply with its contractual provisions
as required by section 2 of E.O. 13201 and the implementing regulations. Contracts may be canceled, terminated,
or suspended absolutely, or continuance of contracts may be conditioned upon compliance;
- Issue an order of debarment under section 6(b) of the order providing that one or more contracting agencies
must refrain from entering into further contracts, or extensions or other modification of existing contracts,
with any non-complying contractor.
The employee rights described in the E.O. 13201 poster are based on Supreme Court decisions involving
the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, and the Railway Labor Act. The posting requirement does not apply
to contractor establishments or construction worksites in jurisdictions where state law forbids enforcement
of union-security agreements.
The Employment Law Guide is offered as a public resource. It
does not create new legal obligations and it is not a substitute for the U.S.
Code, Federal Register, and Code of Federal Regulations as the official sources
of applicable law. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information
provided is complete and accurate as of the time of publication, and this will
continue. Later versions of this Guide will be offered at
www.dol.gov/compliance or by calling our Toll-Free
Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365).