Advertisement

April 23, 2014

A Union, Suitcases Full of Cash, and a Federal Investigation

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the United States Department of Labor (DOL) is investigating a series of payments totaling nearly $1 million dollars made by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission to an unnamed representative of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. While the funds, some of which according to the Times were delivered in suitcases packed with $100 bills, were supposed to be used to cover wages for union stagehands, the Commission did not impose controls over where the money ended up. This lack of control, combined with the Commission's apparent failure to make required contributions to employee retirement accounts (it is unclear if the required payments were made on wages paid in cash) has caused quite a stir in Los Angeles and may be the reason for the DOL's investigation.

Though it is unclear from the Times report what exactly the DOL is investigating, it is likely potential violations of Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Section 302 makes criminal the payment, lending, or delivery of “any money or other thing of value” to, among others, “any representative of his employees who are employed in an industry affecting commerce.” Suitcases full of $100 bills given to a union representative with an undisclosed or unspecified final destination would seem to be a thing of value. Even if ultimately determined not unlawful, the appearance of impropriety would create a black eye for the union and employer involved Employers should be mindful not to give in to union demands for improper payments.

© 2014 BARNES & THORNBURG LLP

About the Author

Steve Hernandez, Labor and Employment, Attorney, Barnes Thornburg, Law firm
Associate

Steve L. Hernández is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg. A member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department, Mr. Hernández focuses his practice on traditional labor and employment law. Mr. Hernández has extensive experience litigating class action matters.

Mr. Hernández also brings four years of experience as an attorney with Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to his practice. While at the NLRB, Mr. Hernández investigated unfair labor practice, litigated unfair labor practice...

310-284-3775

Boost: AJAX core statistics

Legal Disclaimer

You are responsible for reading, understanding and agreeing to the National Law Review's (NLR’s) and the National Law Forum LLC's  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using the National Law Review website. The National Law Review is a free to use, no-log in database of legal and business articles. The content and links on www.NatLawReview.com are intended for general information purposes only. Any legal analysis, legislative updates or other content and links should not be construed as legal or professional advice or a substitute for such advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by the transmission of information between you and the National Law Review website or any of the law firms, attorneys or other professionals or organizations who include content on the National Law Review website. If you require legal or professional advice, kindly contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  

Some states have laws and ethical rules regarding solicitation and advertisement practices by attorneys and/or other professionals. The National Law Review is not a law firm nor is www.NatLawReview.com  intended to be  a referral service for attorneys and/or other professionals. The NLR does not wish, nor does it intend, to solicit the business of anyone or to refer anyone to an attorney or other professional. &nb