In an attempt to chill employer free speech rights during union campaigns, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed regulation that would dramatically expand reporting and disclosure requirements to employers. Currently, employers are required to report to DOL any contracts with consultants who directly talk to workers, but are exempted from disclosing consultants who merely give advice (e.g., in the form of strategy, draft speeches, handouts, union-free seminars, etc.). The new rule would overturn this 50-year-old exemption, meaning routine legal and consulting services will be subject to disclosure. Not only will it increase regulatory red tape, but the ambiguity of the new standards, coupled with potential criminal sanctions for non-reporting, could interfere with an employer’s attorney-client relationship and ability to obtain advice when confronted by union campaigns.
To submit a comment opposing this rule, click here.