U.S. Chamber Denounces DOL Rule Intended to Muzzle Employers

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 11:15am

Says Rule Would Negatively Impact Employers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today expressed strong opposition to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) issuance of its final “persuader” rule which will make it more difficult for employers to discuss with employees the pros and cons of unionization.

“It is a shame that the DOL would expend its resources on a regulation that is so clearly one-sided and intended solely to benefit its big labor benefactors, rather than focusing on initiatives that would invigorate a still-underperforming economy,” said Randy Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits. “Instead, on the heels of the NLRB’s ambush election regulation, DOL’s rule is all about tilting the playing field in favor of big labor, who – in the face of its continuing inability to convince employees to buy its outdated product – again asked its friends in the administration to change the rules to their advantage.”

The persuader rule overturns the long-standing interpretation of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act’s “advice” exemption in order to require new and complicated reporting for attorneys, consultants, and other professionals who advise employers about certain labor matters. By expanding reporting requirements and making it more difficult to comply, the goal of the persuader rule is to discourage attorneys from offering labor relations services.  Ultimately, this will limit employer access to counsel and stifle employer speech, thereby providing more opportunities for unions to catch unsuspecting employers mistakenly running afoul of complicated labor laws.

“It’s the height of hypocrisy that the unions support this rule based on the claim that it will help give employees more informed decisions with regard to unionization, but they have steadfastly opposed requiring greater disclosure obligations on how union dues are spent for political and other reasons not related to collective bargaining,” Johnson continued.