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Union Neutrality Required for California State Contractors

  • January 9, 2001

Under a new law, public and certain private employers who enter into contracts of $50,000 or more with the state are prohibited from assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing. The law also imposes significant record-keeping requirements on the same group of employers.

Part of the bill simply prohibits the use of state funds to deter or promote unionization. If funds received from the state are commingled with other funds, then the law presumes that part of the funds used in connection with union activity ARE state funds. The law also prohibits a company from opposing or promoting unionization by employees working on a state contract, including a public works project.

With some exceptions, the law also prohibits meetings on state property to encourage or oppose unionization.

Employers in violation of these provisions may be liable for (1) return of the amount of funds expended on union activity (2) double damages and (3) a civil action for injunctive relief, disgorgement, and attorneys' fees.

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