Yellow Dog Contract Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Yellow Dog Contract, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Yellow Dog Contract?

Illegal contract where an employee agrees not to joking a labor union.

History and Meaning of Yellow Dog Contract

Yellow Dog Contracts, also known as Ironclad Oaths or Anti-Union Contracts, were a common practice during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. These contracts were used by employers to prohibit workers from joining or forming a labor union as a condition of employment. The term "Yellow Dog" is said to have originated from the notion that workers who signed these contracts were "yellow" or cowardly because they would not stand up for their rights.

The use of Yellow Dog Contracts eventually became illegal under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which protected workers' rights to unionize and bargain collectively. Today, such contracts are considered a violation of the employee's freedom of association.

Examples of Yellow Dog Contract

  1. A company requires its employees to sign a contract agreeing not to join a labor union as a condition for employment.
  2. A construction firm includes a clause in its contracts with subcontractors that prohibits the use of unionized labor.
  3. A restaurant chain requires its franchisees to sign an agreement not to allow unions in their establishments.

Legal Terms Similar to Yellow Dog Contract

  • Closed Shop Agreement: An agreement between an employer and a labor union that requires the employer to hire only union members.
  • Union Shop Agreement: An agreement that requires workers to join a union within a certain period of time after being hired.
  • Agency Shop Agreement: An agreement that requires workers to pay union dues even if they choose not to join the union.