The Norris-LaGuardia Act, also known as the Anti-Injunction Bill, was a federal law passed in 1932. The Norris-LaGuardia Act declared yellow dog contracts illegal and prohibited federal courts from ruling on nonviolent labor disputes. Moreover, it prevented the federal government from interfering with a worker`s right to join a union if it so wished. The Norris-LaGuardia Act takes its name from its Republican sponsors: Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska and New York Representative Fiorello H. La Guardia. A yellow dog contract was beneficial for the employer because it gave the employer recourse if its employees committed a mutiny against the company. In 1932, a new philosophy was put into play that the government should remain outside the right of workers to organize. This led to the passage of the Norris-LaGuardia Act and the end of the legal maintenance of contracts with yellow dogs. A yellow dog contract is an agreement that was used in U.S.
labor law to get employees to promise that they would not join a union while working for their employer. If they joined a union during their employment, they were fired. In 1932, the treatise on the yellow dog was widely used. Under the Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932, it became illegal. Employers could take action against union organizers if their employees had signed a contract with a yellow dog. Until 1932, the Norris-LaGuardia Act prohibited yellow dog contracts from existing in the private sector. However, until the 1960s, they were still allowed in the public sector, even in federal jobs. At this point, the history of the yellow dog contract ended, as all yellow dog contracts from that moment on were considered illegal and unenforceable. The term „yellow dog” was originally coined in the 1920s and meant how employees were perceived in the eyes of their colleagues for the signing rights they were entitled to in the U.S. Constitution.
For example, it was common at the time for people to say things like, „What kind of person is willing to be a `yellow dog` and sign their rights just to get a job?” An example of a yellow dog contract can be found in a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1915, 12 years after the state of Kansas passed a law to encourage employees to unionize. The law prohibited employers from attaching conditions to their workplace requiring an employee to refuse to join a union or cease to participate in a union before working for his or her company. However, 12 years later, Coppage – an employer – added a clause to its employment contracts that required workers to give up their right to join a union if they took a job. „An agreement used in U.S. labor law in which a potential worker agrees as a condition of employment not to join a union and to lose their job if they join a union for the duration of their employment.” In 1910, the United International Brotherhood of Leather Workers on Horse Goods organized a major strike. However, this strike failed, leading many companies in the industry to demand verbal and written agreements from workers that they would leave their unions and not join the unions in the future if they wanted to return to work. The term „yellow dog” was originally coined in 1921 and published in a number of important publications aimed at workers who were still members of a union. However, yellow dog contracts do not always take the form of non-union agreements. Sometimes they appear as non-compete obligations that explicitly prohibit an employee from working with a company`s direct competitor, which can harm their current employer in the process. Yellow dog contracts are particularly advantageous for employers because they allow a company to take legal action against employees who engage in activities prohibited by the agreement. There are usually two main types of yellow dog contracts: „This agreement has been aptly named.
It is certainly a yellow dog. He reduces every man who signs him to the level of a yellow dog, because he signs all the rights he has under the constitution and laws of the land, making himself a vicious and helpless slave of the employer. However, in the last years of the 19th century and in the early years of the 20th century, these anti-union statements lost their meaning. At this point in the history of the Yellow Dog Contract, the agreements had been in place for so long that workers no longer felt compelled to comply with them, and union organizers didn`t even think about them. In 1932, however, a new school of thought emerged, proposing the idea that the government should not be involved in banning workers` rights of association. This led to the passage of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which ended yellow dog contracts in court. So this case becomes an example of a yellow dog contract that was ultimately successful because the employer who created it was allowed to continue creating them and forced employees to stick to them. However, it is important to note that this case was heard years before the norris-LaGuardia Act was passed. According to Business.Dictonary.com is a contract with a yellow dog: In the 1870s, a written agreement containing a promise not to join a union was commonly referred to as a „notorious document.” This reinforces the belief that Us employers have deliberately followed English precedents in their use of individual contracts. This anti-union commitment was also called the „iron document”, and from that time until the end of the 19th century, „iron” was the common name for the non-union promise.
Beginning in New York in 1887, sixteen states wrote in their law books that they made it a crime to force employees not to agree not to join unions. The United States Congress included in the Erdman Act of 1898 a provision on airlines engaged in interstate commerce. 29 U.S.C § 103(a)-(b): Inapplicability of Yellow Dog Contracts „Asking a man to agree in advance to refrain from joining the union while retaining a certain job position does not mean asking him to give up some of his constitutional freedom. He is free to refuse employment under these conditions, just as the employer may refuse to offer employment at another time; for „It takes two to get a good deal.” After the man has accepted employment under these conditions, he is free to join the trade union even after the end of the period of employment; or, if they are employed at will, then at any time if they simply terminate the employment relationship. And if he is bound by his own consent not to join for a certain period of employment, he is not in a situation other than that necessarily related to fixed-term contracts in general. Because the constitutional freedom of the contract does not mean that a party must be as free as before after the conclusion of a contract; He is not free to break it without accountability. Freedom of contract, by its nature, can only be exercised if it is exercised; and each individual exercise involves a commitment that, if respected, prevents inconsistent behavior at this time. A yellow dog contract is sometimes called an iron oath or a yellow dog clause. These contracts stipulate certain contracts and working conditions and, in particular, that a worker is in no way involved in a trade union in the course of his employment. It is an employment contract that requires workers not to join a union as a condition of employment. By adding this „non-adherence” clause to its contracts, Coppage violated state law that prohibited all forms of anti-union contracts.
This case is an example of yellow dog treaties violating the Fourteenth Amendment – in particular, the amendment`s due process clause. The Yellow Dog Treaty, also known as the yellow dog clause of a contract or iron oath, was widely used by American employers before 1932 to prevent the formation of unions. The union urged Pullman workers not to sign the „Yellow Dog Treaty,” insisting that refusing to sign it did not mean they were disloyal. (Image: adapted from publications.newberry.org) A yellow dog contract is used to prevent employees from engaging in activities with a union while they are on a company`s payroll. Read 3 min The term yellow dog appeared in prominent articles and editorials devoted to the subject in the spring of 1921 and appearing in the workers` press. Typical was the comment of the editor of the United Mine Workers` Journal: Although they were banned in the private sector by the Norris-LaGuardia Act in 1932, yellow dog contracts were allowed in the public sector, including many government jobs, such as teaching, until the 1960s, beginning with the precedent established in 1915 with Frederick v. .