Employers of union workers should not continue to ignore Beck issues. They have
a legitimate stake in communicating Beck safeguards to workers as a shared
acknowledgment that protecting nonmembers rights is essential. Protection of a
nonmember employees rights is the duty of both the employer and the union.
There are legal reasons why an employer should ensure that employees know their Beck
rights. Where a union contract includes a dues check-off provisiona voluntarily
signed authorization by the employer to permit deduction of union dues from the
employees wagesthe employer may become caught between the unions demand
for dues payments and the dissenting employees dispute regarding the proper amount
of dues. When an employer enforces the collective bargaining agreement against the
individual member on behalf of the union, it risks relying on the unions accounting
calculations and procedures. If these are defective, the employer violates the
employees rights by discharging the employee.
This situation risks conflict and liability for an employer. An employer can guard
against this by actively insuring that Beck opportunities are known by the
employees and that adequate procedural safeguards are adhered to prior to taking any
action enforcing the union security agreement.