Good news for bakers and all businesses – the U.S. Department of Labor has delayed the controversial “persuader rule,” which would expand the reporting requirements for labor relations consultants helping employers fight their employees’ attempts to start a union. The rule was set to be issued this month, but the DOL failed to meet regulatory obligations that must occur before a rule can move forward.
As proposed, the rule would expand the reporting requirements under Section 203(b) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act for labor relations consultants and the employers that hire them to stymie their employees’ unionization attempts. The rule would apply when the consultant engages in persuader activities that go beyond the plain meaning of advice, even if the consultant has no direct contact with workers.
The persuader rule has been a source of controversy since it was proposed in 2011, with DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards receiving more than 9,000 public comments on the matter. Issuance of a final rule has been postponed for several months. As far back as January 2012, the DOL predicted it would issue the final persuader rule in April 2012. In its most recent regulatory agenda, the DOL said the rule would be published in March 2014.
ABA is focused on this issue and will continue to work to mitigate the rule’s impact.