Deauthorization Law and Legal Definition

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) permits employees working under a union contract to petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on whether to revoke any contractual requirement to join the union or support it financially as fee payers. This is known as a deauthorization election.

Employees cannot fire their exclusive representative after a successful deauthorization vote, but they can withhold its pay. The deauthorized union still represents the employees, but it cannot legally force them to pay dues and fees. Payment becomes a truly voluntary exchange of value. Deauthorization votes can occur at any time during the life of a contract and may be sought annually.