The U.S. Department of Labor has issued the final version of its "Persuader Rule” which requires employers, third-party lawyers and other labor consultants to disclose to the USDOL any arrangement to persuade employees directly or indirectly concerning the right to organize or bargain collectively.
While the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act has required the disclosure of arrangements made between employers and labor consultants to persuade workers to oppose unionization or collective bargaining, the rule has generally applied narrowly to only when a lawyer or consultant dealt directly with employees in an attempt to affect their support during the course of a union organizing campaign.
The rule has now been expanded to include indirect and other activities, the object of which is to pursued employees.
Thus, the reporting obligation now includes disclosure of all expenditures by employers related to persuader activities, which includes services where “an object" is to persuade employees concerning their rights to organize and bargain collectively. This includes when an attorney/consultant:
- plans, directs, or coordinates activities, including meetings and interactions with employees, that are undertaken by supervisors or other employer representatives;
- provides material or communications to the employer, in oral, written, or electronic form, for dissemination or distribution to employees;
- conducts a seminar for supervisors or other employer representatives; or
- develops or implements personnel policies, practices, or actions for the employer.
The rule is scheduled to take effect on April 25, 2016, and will apply "to arrangements and agreements as well as payments (including reimbursed expenses) made on or after July 1, 2016."
Reports must be filed electronically and, once filed, become publicly available records.