Union-issued credit cards can be a convenient way to handle travel and lodging payments, but without proper safeguards, they can create problems. The department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards recommends your union establish clear policies and procedures and regularly monitor compliance. The policies and procedures should be in writing and approved by your governing board. While OLMS does not recommend one best policy, you should address the following in as much detail as possible:
- Authorized users: Who is authorized to use a union credit card?
- Authorized uses: What types of expenses that may be charged to the union credit card and under what circumstances? For example, is credit card use restricted just to lodging and transportation when traveling on union business?
- Prohibited uses: What types of expenses are prohibited? Does your policy prohibit the use of union credit cards for ATM withdrawal or cash back at point of purchase? Does your policy prohibit the use of union credit cards for personal purposes?
- Documentation requirements: Does your policy specify exactly what documentation the credit card user is required to submit to support all charges? For example, does the union require credit card holders to submit a voucher for credit card expenses? If so, what information is required on the voucher and what additional supporting documentation must be provided?
- Monitoring compliance with the policy: Once established, compliance with the policy should be regularly monitored by your trustees, audit committee or other authorized body.
For more information, view the union credit card policy compliance tip on our website.
John Lund is the director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards.