Chamber comments on proposed rule to chill employer free speech

Here’s a portion of the Kentucky Chamber’s comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule to change the interpretation of the “advice” exemption under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), aka the “persuader rule“:

The “advice” exemption has been consistently interpreted for decades to mean that no disclosure is required under LMRDA if a consultant or labor attorney gives advice on strategy, drafts speeches or handouts, or offers seminars on how to effectively communicate a union-free message to employees. Under the proposed rule, this interpretation would be significantly narrowed, resulting in routine consulting services to be considered “persuader” materials and subject to disclosure.

If proprietary communications are disclosed, our law firm members and other consultants tell us the rule would compromise attorney-client relationships and deter them from offering their services to employers. This would have a chilling effect on employer free speech and prevent employees from making an uncoerced, informed choice either accepting or rejecting unionization. In addition, expanded disclosure requirements would burden employers already struggling with mountains of regulatory red tape.

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