TITLE IV (LMDRA)
TITLE IV - ELECTIONS
Terms of Office; Election Procedures
(29 U.S.C. 481)
SEC. 401. (a) Every national or international labor organization, except a federation of national or international
labor organizations, shall elect its officers not less often than once every five years either by secret ballot among
the members in good standing or at a convention of delegates chosen by secret ballot.
(b) Every local labor organization shall elect its officers not less often than once every three years by secret ballot
among the members in good standing.
(c) Every national or international labor organization, except a federation of national or international labor
organizations, and every local labor organization, and its officers, shall be under a duty, enforceable at the suit of
any bona fide candidate for office in such labor organization in the district court of the United States in which such
labor organization maintains its principal office, to comply with all reasonable requests of any candidate to
distribute by mail or otherwise at the candidate's expense campaign literature in aid of such person's candidacy to
all members in good standing of such labor organization and to refrain from discrimination in favor of or against any
candidate with respect to the use of lists of members, and whenever such labor organizations or its officers
authorize the distribution by mail or otherwise to members of campaign literature on behalf of any candidate or of
the labor organization itself with reference to such election, similar distribution at the request of any other bona
fide candidate shall be made by such labor organization and its officers, with equal treatment as to the expense of
such distribution. Every bona fide candidate shall have the right, once within 30 days prior to an election of a labor
organization in which he is a candidate, to inspect a list containing the names and last known addresses of all
members of the labor organization who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement requiring membership
therein as a condition of employment, which list shall be maintained and kept at the principal office of such labor
organization by a designated official thereof. Adequate safeguards to insure a fair election shall be provided,
including the right of any candidate to have an observer at the polls and at the counting of the ballots.
(d) Officers of intermediate bodies, such as general committees, system boards, joint boards, or joint councils,
shall be elected not less often than once every four years by secret ballot among the members in good standing or
by labor organization officers representative of such members who have been elected by secret ballot.
(e) In any election required by this section which is to be held by secret ballot a reasonable opportunity shall be
given for the nomination of candidates and every member in good standing shall be eligible to be a candidate and
to hold office (subject to section 504 and to reasonable qualifications uniformly imposed) and shall have the right
to vote for or otherwise support the candidate or candidates of his choice, without being subject to penalty,
discipline, or improper interference or reprisal of any kind by such organization or any member thereof. Not less
than fifteen days prior to the election notice thereof shall be mailed to each member at his last known home
address. Each member in good standing shall be entitled to one vote. No member whose dues have been withheld
by his employer for payment to such organization pursuant to his voluntary authorization provided for in a
collective bargaining agreement shall be declared ineligible to vote or be a candidate for office in such organization
by reason of alleged delay or default in the payment of dues. The votes cast by members of each local labor
organization shall be counted, and the results published, separately. The election officials designated in the
constitution and bylaws or the secretary, if no other official is designated, shall preserve for one year the ballots
and all other records pertaining to the election. The election shall be conducted in accordance with the
constitution and bylaws of such organization insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this title.
(f) When officers are chosen by a convention of delegates elected by secret ballot, the convention shall be
conducted in accordance with the constitution and bylaws of the labor organization insofar as they are not
inconsistent with the provisions of this title. The officials designated in the constitution and bylaws or the
secretary, if no other is designated, shall preserve for one year the credentials of the delegates and all minutes
and other records of the convention pertaining to the election of officers.
(g) No moneys received by any labor organization by way of dues, assessment, or similar levy, and no moneys of
an employer shall be contributed or applied to promote the candidacy of any person in an election subject to the
provisions of this title. Such moneys of a labor organization may be utilized for notices, factual statements of
issues not involving candidates, and other expenses necessary for the holding of an election.
(h) If the Secretary, upon application of any member of a local labor organization, finds after hearing in accordance
with the Administrative Procedure Act that the constitution and bylaws of such labor organization do not provide
an adequate procedure for the removal of an elected officer guilty of serious misconduct, such officer may be
removed, for cause shown and after notice and hearing, by the members in good standing voting in a secret ballot
conducted by the officers of such labor organization in accordance with its constitution and bylaws insofar as they
are not inconsistent with the provisions of this title.
(i) The Secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations prescribing minimum standards and procedures for
determining the adequacy of the removal procedures to which reference is made in subsection (h).
(29 U.S.C. 482)
SEC. 402. (a) A member of a labor organization-
(1) who has exhausted the remedies available under the constitution and bylaws of such organization and of any
parent body, or
(2) who has invoked such available remedies without obtaining a final decision within three calendar months after
may file a complaint with the Secretary within one calendar month thereafter alleging the violation of any provision
of section 401 (including violation of the constitution and bylaws of the labor organization pertaining to the
election and removal of officers). The challenged election shall be presumed valid pending a final decision thereon
(as hereinafter provided) and in the interim the affairs of the organization shall be conducted by the officers
elected or in such other manner as its constitution and bylaws may provide.
(b) The Secretary shall investigate such complaint and, if he finds probable cause to believe that a violation of this
title has occurred and has not been remedied, he shall, within sixty days after the filing of such complaint, bring a
civil action against the labor organization as an entity in the district court of the United States in which such labor
organization maintains its principal office to set aside the invalid election, if any, and to direct the conduct of an
election or hearing and vote upon the removal of officers under the supervision of the Secretary and in accordance
with the provisions of this title and such rules and regulations as the Secretary may prescribe. The court shall have
power to take such action as it deems proper to preserve the assets of the labor organization.
(c) If, upon a preponderance of the evidence after a trial upon the merits, the court finds-
(1) that an election has not been held within the time prescribed by
section 401, or
(2) that the violation of section 401 may have affected the outcome of an election,
the court shall declare the election, if any, to be void and direct the conduct of a new election under supervision
of the Secretary and, so far as lawful and practicable, in conformity with the constitution and bylaws of the labor
organization. The Secretary shall promptly certify to the court the names of the persons elected, and the court
shall thereupon enter a decree declaring such persons to be the officers of the labor organization. If the
proceeding is for the removal of officers pursuant to subsection (h) of section 401, the Secretary shall certify the
results of the vote and the court shall enter a decree declaring whether such persons have been removed as
officers of the labor organization.
(d) An order directing an election, dismissing a complaint, or designating elected officers of a labor organization
shall be appealable in the same manner as the final judgment in a civil action, but an order directing an election
shall not be stayed pending appeal.
Application of Other Laws
(29 U.S.C. 483)
SEC. 403. No labor organization shall be required by law to conduct elections of officers with greater frequency or
in a different form or manner than is required by its own constitution or bylaws, except as otherwise provided by
this title. Existing rights and remedies to enforce the constitution and bylaws of a labor organization with respect
to elections prior to the conduct thereof shall not be affected by the provisions of this title. The remedy provided
by this title for challenging an election already conducted shall be exclusive.
(29 U.S.C. 484)
SEC. 404. The provisions of this title shall become applicable-
(1) ninety days after the date of enactment of this Act in the case of a labor organization whose constitution and
bylaws can lawfully be modified or amended by action of its constitutional officers or governing body, or
(2) where such modification can only be made by a constitutional convention of the labor organization, not later
than the next constitutional convention of such labor organization after the date of enactment of this Act, or one
year after such date, whichever is sooner. If no such convention is held within such one-year period, the
executive board or similar governing body empowered to act for such labor organization between conventions is
empowered to make such interim constitutional changes as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this title.
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