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A system whereby an employer regularly deducts a portion of an employee's wages to pay union dues or initiation fees.

The checkoff system is very attractive to a union since the collection of dues can be costly and time-consuming. It prescribes the manner in which dues are paid by deductions in earnings rather than through individual checks sent directly to the union. Unions are thereby assured of the regular receipt of their dues.

A dues checkoff system is only lawful when voluntarily authorized by an employee. Unions have attempted to make alternatives to checkoff more onerous by requiring such practices as in-person delivery of dues checks to out-of-state locations. The national labor relations board has held that this type of inducement to checkoff is unlawful, however, as is the attempt by a union to collect assessments extending beyond periodic dues.


Labor Law; Labor Union.

References in periodicals archive ?
For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.
8220;What makes check-off giving so wonderful is the ease in which Coloradoans can donate to worthy local charities,” said Jon Pushkin, spokesman for Checkoff Colorado.
USDA proposed the second checkoff program following several years of reportedly unproductive discussions by a working group that was established to reform the current program.
Under the Hardwood Checkoff proposal, funding for the program would come from sawmills producers and kiln-operating facilities with annual sales in excess of $2 million.
The failure of USB leaders to take decisive action on these particular matters is indicative of how USB is no longer accountable and responsive to the very soybean farmers who are paying funds into the checkoff program," Hoffman said.
Once an agreement expires, continuing a dues checkoff would be illegal.
Lawmakers say they like the popular programs because it can be easier to get approval for a checkoff than to get support for a new cause that requires general fund money.
The initiative in Maine would be funded by state-office budget cuts, lobbying registration fees, and a voluntary checkoff on state income-tax forms.
The wildlife tax checkoff idea began in the West--Colorado started it a decade ago.
Trybe Targeting, in conjunction with The Beef Checkoff Program and Bull Outdoor Products, is launching the American GrillMaster Experience at Sam's Club Fan Zones across the country, where Sam's Club members can learn how to become the master of the backyard grill.
The nation's beef producers have been unable over the past three years to arrive at a consensus regarding how their industry's checkoff program should be structured, so Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he would create a parallel program unless beef producers quickly close ranks and find an acceptable alternative.