Labor representative reporting rule burdens businesses

Friday, April 29, 2016
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

worried business manA new rule from the Department of Labor impacts business owners and workers, but critics say it gives an unfair advantage to unions.

According to the Department of Labor, the new rule aims to "better effectuate" an existing requirement that employers and their labor relations consultants report activities intended to persuade workers to exercise their rights to union representation and collective bargaining.

Under the prior interpretation of the requirement, reporting was triggered only when a consultant communicated directly with employees. The Labor Department says that rule left a broad category of persuader activities unreported, thereby denying employees important information that would enable them to consider the source of information when assessing the merits of arguments and deciding how to exercise their rights. 

Critics refer to this latest effort as “the persuader rule” and say it essentially ties employers' hands by making it more burdensome to respond to union-organizing campaigns. Meanwhile, Ivan Osorio at Competitive Enterprise Institute says medium-sized businesses should take note.

"Large corporations have in-house counsel,” he explains. “They can afford to have employee engagement programs and big HR departments. But this new understanding of the rule should be a concern for businesses that are just large enough that unions would seek to organize them."

OneNewsNow’s request for the Department of Labor's comment was not immediately returned.

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