DEFINITION of 'Taft-Hartley Act'

The Taft-Hartley Act is a federal law that was enacted in 1947 that prohibited certain union practices and required improvement in union disclosure of financial and political dealings.

It is an outline of the federal government's requirements for unions. It protects union members against possible unfavorable dealings enacted by the controlling members.

BREAKING DOWN 'Taft-Hartley Act'

The Taft-Hartley Act revised provisions of the Wagner Act, which was a law passed by Congress and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 5, 1935. The Taft-Hartley Act gave employees the right to avoid taking part in union activities, but it also stipulated that an employer can require an employee join a union.

Six Key Amendments

Taft-Hartley outlined six unfair practices by labor unions and provided remedies, in the form of amendments, for protecting employees from harm resulting from these practices:

One amendment protected employees' rights under Section 7 of the Wagner Act, which gave employees the right to form unions and engage in collective bargaining with employers. This amendment protected employees from unfair coercion by unions that could result in discrimination against employees.

A second amendment said that an employer cannot refuse to hire prospective employees because they won't join a union. However, an employer has the right to sign an agreement with a union that requires an employee to join the union on or before the employee's 30th day of employment.

A third amendment stipulated that unions have a requirement to bargain in good faith with employers. This amendment balanced the provisions of the Wagner Act, which required good faith bargaining by employers.

A fourth amendment prohibited secondary boycotts by unions. For example, if a union has a dispute with an employer, the union cannot, under the law, coerce or urge another entity from doing business with that employer.

A fifth amendment prohibited unions from taking advantage of their members or employers. Unions were prohibited from charging their members excessive membership fees or dues as a condition of joining. In addition, unions were prohibited from causing employers to pay for work that its members did not perform.

A sixth amendment provided for a free speech clause for employers. Employers have the right to express their views and opinions about labor issues, and these views do not constitute unfair labor practices provided the employer is not threatening to withhold benefits or engage in other retribution against employees.

Changes to Elections

The Taft-Hartley Act made changes to union election rules. These changes excluded supervisors from bargaining groups and gave special treatment to certain professional employees.

The Taft-Hartley Act also created four new types of elections. One gave employers the right to vote on union demands. The other three gave employees the rights to hold elections on the status of incumbent unions, to determine whether a union has the power to enter into agreements for employees and to withdraw union representation after it's granted. In 1951, Congress repealed the provisions governing union shop elections.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Labor Union

    An organization intended to represent the collective interests ...
  2. Credit Union

    Member-owned financial co-operative. These institutions are created ...
  3. Organized Labor

    An association of workers united as a single, representative ...
  4. National Association Of Federal ...

    An industry trade group founded in 1967 that represents federal ...
  5. Federal Credit Union - FCU

    A credit union chartered and supervised by the National Credit ...
  6. Collective Bargaining

    The process of negotiating the terms of employment between an ...
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    Unions: Do They Help Or Hurt Workers?

    Learn the pros and cons of these organizations and how they fit into today's economy.
  2. Personal Finance

    Tired Of Banks? Try A Credit Union

    These nonprofit organizations can provide a range of services for lower fees.
  3. Personal Finance

    The Main Differences between Credit Unions and Banks

    Consumers should know the main differences between credit unions and commercial banks when deciding where to do business.
  4. Personal Finance

    The Top 5 Most Unionized Industries

    Unions don't have the membership numbers that they once did, but they are still a vital part of several different important industries.
  5. Personal Finance

    6 Benefits of Using a Credit Union

    Credit unions are community-focused and offer better interest rates than traditional banks.
  6. Personal Finance

    What Are Home-Based Credit Unions?

    They’re a far cry from a traditional bank, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t park your money there or get a loan – if one meets your needs.
  7. Insights

    How Lack Of Leadership Is Making Things Worse In Europe

    Lack of effective leadership is impeding the resolution of economic crisis in Europe.
  8. Investing

    Western Union Stock Trades Ex-Dividend Tuesday (WU)

    Western Union will send its dividend payment on June 30 to shareholders of record as of June 16.
  9. Investing

    Delta's Unique Employee Structure and Its Logic Behind It (DAL)

    Find out if new profit sharing will affect the unionization efforts of Delta employees or if bigger raises keep employees happy in this unique workforce.
  10. Managing Wealth

    Company Policies you Did Not Know Might Be Illegal

    While you need an employee handbook to maintain law and order, trying to enforce illegal policies can land you in hot water.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between a state and a federally chartered credit union?

    Learn how federal chartered credit unions are regulated by the NCUA, while state chartered unions are regulated by their ... Read Answer >>
  2. Does the FDIC cover credit unions?

    Learn whether or not the FDIC insures your funds at a credit union, and what types of insurance are available at the different ... Read Answer >>
  3. Do businesses in states with right-to-work laws have demonstrably less deadweight ...

    Learn more about the economic impact of right-to-work laws and how unions impact production and purchase levels. Explore ... Read Answer >>
  4. Are eurodollars related to the currency called the euro?

    Eurodollars have little to do with the official currency of the European Union, the euro (EUR). In 1999, the euro was implemented ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Federal Direct Loan Program

    A program that provides low-interest loans to postsecondary students and their parents. The William D. Ford Federal Direct ...
  2. Cash Flow

    The net amount of cash and cash-equivalents moving into and out of a business. Positive cash flow indicates that a company's ...
  3. PLUS Loan

    A low-cost student loan offered to parents of students currently enrolled in post-secondary education. With a PLUS Loan, ...
  4. Graduate Record Examination - GRE

    A standardized exam used to measure one's aptitude for abstract thinking in the areas of analytical writing, mathematics ...
  5. Graduate Management Admission Test - GMAT

    A standardized test intended to measure a test taker's aptitude in mathematics and the English language. The GMAT is most ...
  6. Magna Cum Laude

    An academic level of distinction used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree which was received "with ...
Trading Center