South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Executive Order May Require Federal Contractors to Post Notice of Worker Rights
Description Appeals court upheld the right of the president to issue an executive order requiring certain federal contractors to post workplace notices informing employees that they may not be forced to join a union or to pay dues not related to union representation activities.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Mandatory Notice; Union Dues; Executive Order; Procurement Act
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts President Bush issued an executive order in 2001, applying to all government contracts involving more than $100,000, requiring contractors to post notices at all facilities informing employees of what are common known as General Motors and Beck rights. That is, notices stating that employees may not be forced 1) to join a union or 2) to pay mandatory dues for costs unrelated to union representation activities. A union sued, seeking injunctive relief against the order, contending that it conflicts with the NLRA and that it exceeds the power of the president under the federal Procurement Act. The district court issued an injunction barring enforcement of the order. The Secretary of Labor appealed.

Reversed. The NLRA preempts the states from regulating activities protected or prohibited by that statute. It does not prohibit the president from issuing regulations requiring federal contractors to follow certain procedures that are not in conflict with the NLRA. The executive order has a sufficiently close nexus to the values of providing the government an economical and efficient system for procurement and supply that it does not go beyond the scope of the president’s authority in that area.

Citation UAW-Labor Employment and Training Corp. v. Chao, 2003 WL 1906339 (D.C. Cir., 2003)

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