South Carolina Legislature


 

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S 1029
Session 112 (1997-1998) 

S 1029 General Bill, By Fair, Courtney, Giese, Ryberg, Thomas and Wilson
 A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 41, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH
 CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT BY ADDING SECTION 41-1-120 SO
 AS TO ENACT THE "LABOR ORGANIZATION DEDUCTIONS ACT".

   02/12/98  Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-4
   02/12/98  Senate Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and
                     Industry SJ-4



A BILL

TO AMEND ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 41, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT BY ADDING SECTION 41-1-120 SO AS TO ENACT THE "LABOR ORGANIZATION DEDUCTIONS ACT".

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 1, Title 41 of the 1976 Code, is amended by adding:

"Section 41-1-120. (A) This section is known as the 'Labor Organizations Deductions Act'.

(B) The General Assembly finds that:

(1) Some unions spend nearly ninety percent of total dues income on political activities.

(2) The Supreme Court's Communications Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735, 108 S. Ct. 2641 (1988) decision held that unions cannot use fees collected from nonunion employees, if the employee objects, on activities other than collective bargaining.

(3) However, few union members are aware of this right, and formal procedures for receiving refunds are not in place.

(4) As a result, unions should be prevented from collecting funds for political purposes unless members expressly give employers permission to deduct such fees from their wages.

(C) As used in this section:

(1) 'Fund' means the separate segregated fund established by a labor organization for political purposes according to the procedures and requirements of this part.

(2)(a) 'Labor organization' means an association or organization of employees, and an agency, employee representation committee, or plan in which employees participate that exists, in whole or in part, to advocate on behalf of employees about grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work.

(b) 'Labor organization' includes employee associations and unions for public employees, including both the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, and each local education association or affiliate of a national education association.

(D)(1) Except as provided in item (2), a labor organization may not expend money for lobbying, electoral, and political activities not bearing upon the ratification or implementation of a collective bargaining agreement. This includes, but is not limited to, independent expenditures or contributions to a candidate, political party, voter registration campaign, or any other political cause.

(2) A labor organization may expend only money for lobbying, electoral, and political activities not bearing upon the ratification or implementation of a collective bargaining agreement if the labor organization establishes a separate segregated fund to be used for political purposes.

(3) The labor organization shall ensure that:

(a) contributions to the fund are solicited independently from other solicitations by the labor organization;

(b) dues or other fees for membership in the labor organization are not used for political purposes, transferred to the segregated fund, or intermingled in any way with fund monies; and

(c) the cost of administering the fund is paid from fund contributions and not from dues or other fees for membership in the labor organization.

(E)(1) It is unlawful for a labor organization to make a contribution by using money or anything of value:

(a) secured by physical force, job discrimination, membership discrimination, or financial reprisals, or threat of force, job discrimination, membership discrimination, or financial reprisals; or

(b) from dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization or as a condition of employment; or

(c) obtained in any commercial transaction.

(2) At the time the labor organization is soliciting money for the fund from an employee, it is unlawful for a labor organization to fail to:

(a) inform an employee of the fund's political purpose; and

(b) inform an employee of the employee's right to refuse to contribute without fear of reprisal.

(3) It is unlawful for a labor organization to solicit monies for the fund from any person other than its members and their immediate families.

(4) It is unlawful for a labor organization to pay a member for a contribution to the fund by providing a bonus, expense account, rebate of dues or other membership fees, or any other form of direct or indirect compensation.

(5) A person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(F) Each fund established by a labor organization under this section shall:

(1) register as a political action committee as required by law; and

(2) file the financial reports for political action committees required by law.

(G)(1) Except as provided in item (4) of this subsection, an employee of a person, firm, school district, or private or municipal corporation within this State may sign and deliver to his employer a written instrument directing the employer to:

(a) deduct a specified sum from his monthly wages; and

(b) pay the deduction to a labor organization or union or any other organization of employees as assignee.

(2) An employer who receives a written instrument assigning a specified sum from the employee's wages shall:

(a) keep the instrument on file;

(b) deduct the specified sum from the employee's salary; and

(c) pay the deducted amount to the organization or union designated by the employee.

(3) The employer shall continue to make and pay the deduction as directed by the employee until the employee revokes or modifies the deduction in writing.

(4)(a) Notwithstanding item (1) of this subsection, an employee may not direct an employer to deduct monies from his wages and pay them to:

(i) a registered political action committee;

(ii) a fund defined by subsection (C); or

(iii) any intermediary that contributes to a regional political committee or fund as defined by subsection (C).

(b) Nothing in this section prohibits an individual from making personal contributions to a registered political action committee or to a fund as defined by subsection (C)."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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