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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > ESA > OLMS > Regs > Compliance > CA for Small Unions   

Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

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The Office of Labor-Management Standards ensures union democracy, transparency, and financial integrity.

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Compliance Assistance for Small Unions

The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) Web site provides resources to help officers and members of small labor organizations understand and comply with requirements in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) concerning union reporting, elections of officers, financial safeguards, recordkeeping, and other aspects of union operations. Unions composed of Federal government employees are subject to similar requirements under the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA).

Reporting and Disclosure

  • Labor Organization Information Report, Form LM-1
    When unions, including local unions, are established, the LMRDA and the CSRA regulations require them to adopt a constitution and bylaws and file two copies with OLMS, along with a Labor Organization Information Report, Form LM-1, providing certain information about the structure, practices, and procedures of the union.
  • Labor Organization Annual Reports, Form LM-4 and Form LM-3
    Every labor organization subject to the LMRDA or the CSRA must file a financial report each year with OLMS. Labor organizations with total annual receipts of less than $10,000 may file Form LM-4. Labor organizations with $10,000 or more in annual receipts but less than $250,000 must file Form LM-3. If a labor organization's total annual receipts are more than these limits it must file Form LM-2.
  • LMRDA Recordkeeping Requirements for Unions
    Unions must maintain records concerning their financial operations and elections of officers as well as related records that clarify or verify any report filed with OLMS. The president and treasurer, or the corresponding principal officers, must ensure that unions maintain adequate records.
    • This fact sheet provides guidance on complying with the recordkeeping requirements of the LMRDA (PDF)
    • Spanish fact sheet (PDF)

Financial Safeguards

  • Internal Financial Controls
    It is important for labor organizations to establish internal financial controls, such as maintaining receipts and disbursement journals or similar records, requiring that all checks drawn on the union's bank account have two signatures, and conducting regular audits. Internal financial controls are necessary to accurately account for union funds and complete required financial reports.
  • Conducting Audits in Small Unions — A Guide for Trustees
    Trustees play a key role in making sure that a union's funds and other assets are properly accounted for and used solely for the benefit of the union and its members. Few tasks are more critical to the well-being of any organization.
    • This Guide features a 10-step audit designed to help Trustees from small unions carry out their duties.(PDF)
  • Bonding Requirements
    The LMRDA requires that union officers and employees who handle union funds be bonded to guarantee repayment for financial loss caused by fraudulent or dishonest actions by the bonded individuals. The officers and employees must be bonded for 10% of the amount of the funds they handled in the previous fiscal year. The only exception to the bonding requirement is unions whose property and annual financial receipts do not exceed $5,000.
    • This pamphlet provides information about the bonding requirements of the LMRDA and CSRA.


  • Conducting Local Union Officer Elections — A Guide for Election Officials
    Local unions must conduct elections every three years by secret ballot. The first step in getting ready to conduct an election is to determine your specific responsibilities as an election official.
    • This Guide provides step-by-step instructions on conducting local union elections, including sample election notices, ballots, polling place diagrams, and other guidance. (PDF)
    • The Guide also includes a helpful checklist.

General Information

  • LMRDA Compliance — A Guide for New Union Officers
    Union officers are entrusted with many important duties and responsibilities in protecting the interests of union members. These obligations include filing financial reports and making them available to union members, maintaining records, managing money and property, and conducting fair elections.
    • This Guide is designed for first-time officers and includes general information regarding LMRDA requirements that apply to unions and union officers. (PDF)
    • Fact sheet in Spanish (PDF)
    The LMRDA establishes a bill of rights for union members; reporting requirements for unions, union officers, and union employees; standards for the election of union officers; and safeguards for protecting union funds and assets.
    • This fact sheet outlines the major provisions of the LMRDA (PDF)
  • Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
    The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration administers and enforces most provisions of the LMRDA. The LMRDA was enacted to ensure basic standards of democracy and fiscal responsibility in private sector labor organizations.
    • This fact sheet gives an overview of the mission and activities of OLMS (PDF)
  • Union Member Rights and Officer Responsibilities Under the LMRDA
    The LMRDA guarantees certain rights to union members and imposes certain responsibilities on union officers.
    • This fact sheet discusses the rights of union members and the responsibilities of union officers under the LMRDA, and the manner in which those rights and responsibilities are enforced (PDF)
    • Fact sheet in Spanish (PDF)

Contact Information

  • Local OLMS Offices
    • For additional information and assistance, contact the OLMS field office closest to you
  • Toll-Free Help Line
    • For general information or for a referral to the appropriate DOL office, call the Department of Labor Help Line at 1 (866) 487-2365.
  • OLMS Mailing List Subscription Page
    • If you would like to receive via email periodic updates from OLMS, including information about the revised Form LM-2 and the new Form T-1, enforcement results, and compliance assistance programs, you may subscribe to the OLMS Mailing List.

We Want to Know What You Think

Do you have comments or suggestions about the material offered here? Please take the DOL Customer Survey (via the link at the bottom of this page), or email OLMS directly at with any comments, suggestions, or concerns.

Last Updated: 04/18/07

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