The Department of Labor just announced that its Persuader Rules will not be issued in March, 2014, as had been expected. Exactly why the rules have been delayed is anyone’s guess, but the delay may be an effort to avoid the issue until after the mid-term elections this November.
While the rules have been delayed, they are a very big deal. As we have blogged in the past, the rule proposes to eliminate the “advice exception” to the Labor-Management Reporting Disclosure Act. This would mean that employers would have to report to the government any time they engage labor counsel to assist them with organizing campaigns. The report would be available to the public, detailing all labor work the attorneys performed.
If the employer is a federal contractor, the rule would also work with Executive Order 13494, which excludes from any billing, claim, proposal or disbursement the costs incurred in undertaking activities to persuade employees about their right to organize.
We will continue to monitor the Department of Labor’s efforts to publish these regulations. And while there are no changes to be made to your company’s reporting policies, you should be prepared to adopt some changes should the Department of Labor finalize a publication date.