Labor Department Issues Final “Persuader” Rule, Increasing Reporting Obligations of Employers and Labor Consultants
AGC Opposed to New Rule Overall, but Attained Some Improvements Over Proposed Rule
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule on “persuader” activities in the Federal Register on Wednesday. The rule, which was pending for nearly five years, expands reporting obligations of labor relations consultants (including attorneys and trade associations) that conduct activities to persuade employees on how to exercise their rights to union representation and collective bargaining, and of the employers that receive assistance from such consultants. AGC submitted independent comments opposing the proposed rule in 2011 and signed onto joint comments of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW). The final rule maintains many of the detriments of the proposed rule, likely rendering employers less willing and able to obtain expert guidance about their rights and responsibilities during a union organizing drive and otherwise. AGC is discouraged by the Department’s decision to go forward with the final rule but is gratified to have achieved some clarification and limitations on the coverage of trade associations requested in AGC’s comment letter.
The final rule applies to agreements and arrangements for covered “persuader” activities, and payments for same, made on or after July 1, 2016. For additional details about the mandates and purpose of the rule, click here and here.
CDW is likely to file a legal challenge, as are other organizations. AGC will monitor and report on progress as appropriate. Meanwhile, employers with questions about the new reporting obligations – especially open-shop contractors facing union organizing activity and chapters that advise open-shop and union contractors about labor law matters – may want to consult outside labor counsel for advice.
For more info, contact Denise Gold, Associate General Counsel, at email@example.com or (703) 837-5326.
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