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Chapter 01 - Right to Work

Chapter 01 - Right to Work

32.0101 Public policy.


Inherent in the right to live is the right to work; and to require a person to be a member, or not to be a member, of a labor organization, as a compulsory condition of employment, is not in accord with fundamental principles of individual liberty and freedom of choice. It is therefore the public policy of American Samoa that the right of persons to work may not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or association.

32.0102 Definitions.


As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Labor organization” means an organization, or an agency, or employee representation committee, plan or arrangement, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work.

(b) “Person” includes a corporation, association, company, firm, or labor organization, as well as a natural person.

32.0103 Illegal agreement or practice.


Provisions in any agreement, express or implied, between an employer and labor organization, or any combination, understanding, or practice whatsoever, which directly or indirectly make membership or nonmembership in a labor organization, or support or nonsupport of a labor organization, a condition of employment or continued employment, or a provision or practice which requires that an individual pay any fees, dues, assessments, sums of money, or any other charges of any kind whatsoever to a labor organization as a condition of employment or continued employment, is contrary to the public policy of American Samoa, and a provision in an agreement, and a practice or understanding, is illegal and is void.

32.0104 Unlawful acts of employer.


It is unlawful for any employer to:

(1) require an employee, as a condition or employment or of continuance of employment, to be or become or remain a member or affiliate of a labor organization;

(2) require an employee, as a condition of employment or of continuance of employment, to pay fees, dues, assessments, sums of money, or other charges of any kind whatsoever to any person or organization; or

(3) enter into any agreement, understanding, or practice declared to be illegal by 32.0103.

32.0105 Unlawful acts of labor organization.


It is unlawful for a labor organization to:

(1) require, or seek to require, an employee, as a condition of employment or of continuance of employment, to be or become or remain a member or affiliate of a labor organization;

(2) require, or seek to require, an employee, as a condition of employment or of continuance of employment, to pay fees, dues, assessments, or any sums of money or any other charges of any kind whatsoever to a person or labor organization; or

(3) engage in a strike, picketing, work stoppage, slowdown, boycott, or other action or conduct, a purpose or effect of which is to force, coerce, induces or persuade, or otherwise impose upon, an employer to enter into an agreement, understanding, or practice declared to be illegal by 32.0103.

32.0106 Liability for damages.


(a) An employer or labor organization which violates any provision of 32.0103 through 32.0105 is liable to a person or party injured as a result of the violation for the actual damages as may have been sustained by that person.

(b) An employee who may be denied initial employment or deprived of continuance of his employment in violation of 32.0103 through 32.0105 is also entitled to recover costs and attorney’s fees which may have been sustained or incurred by a party to an action, and, in the discretion of the court, punitive damages in addition to the actual damages as may be sustained. If a person is denied initial employment or is deprived of continuance of his employment by an employer, and the denial or deprivation was the result, in whole or in part, of conduct on the part of a labor organization, which conduct is declared illegal by paragraph (3) of 32.0105, then in no case shall the denial of initial employment or deprivation of continued employment be considered to be the result, in whole or in part, of any action or conduct on behalf of the employer, but shall be considered to be caused solely by the acts of the labor organization.

32.0107 Injunctive relief.


Any person injured or threatened with injury by an act declared unlawful by this chapter is, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, entitled to injunctive relief therefrom.

32.0108 Criminal sanction.


(a) An employer or labor organization, or a person acting for an employer or labor organization, who violates any of the provisions of 32.0103 through 32.0105, or who aids and abets in a violation, is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(b) Each day of continued violation after conviction constitutes a separate offense and shall be punishable as provided.

(c) In a prosecution against an employer or person acting for an employer for violation of this section, the employer or person acting for an employer may assert as a complete defense thereto that the employer or person acting for an employer engaged in the activity proscribed by 32.0104, or entered into an agreement made illegal by 32.0103, in whole or in part, as a result of the conduct or activity of a labor organization declared unlawful in paragraph (3) of 32.0105.

32.0109 Applicability.


The provisions of this chapter do not apply to any lawful contract in force at the time of the effective date of this chapter, but they apply to all acts and contracts thereafter entered into and to any renewal or extension of an existing contract thereafter occurring.