On June 12, the Department of Labor (DOL) filed a notice of proposed rulemaking (RIN 1245-AA07) that asks for public comment on whether the Department should rescind the "persuader" rule, a rule issued last year that requires employers to report on arrangements they have with labor-management consultants to develop communications and otherwise influence employees during union organizing campaigns. (See WICs article, "DOL Finalizes Union 'Persuader' Rule," March 28, 2016.) The rule requires disclosures for any actions, conduct, or communications that could impact an employee's decision regarding collective bargaining rights, whether the actions are direct or indirect. Prior to this rule, such disclosure was only required if the outside consultants made direct contact. Critics of the rule were concerned that it would have a "chilling effect" on free speech and could prevent employers from seeking legal counsel for labor issues.
The DOL said in its notice that it is considering rescinding the rule to allow for additional engagement in statutory analysis and give greater consideration to whether a revised interpretation will have a chilling effect on client-attorney communications.
Comments on the proposed rule are due August 11, 2017.