New federal rules require employers to reveal communications with hired consultants who advise them on union-organizing campaigns.
(Mar. 25, 2016) Hoteliers and other employers who hire a consultant to advise them during a union-organizing campaign will be required under a new U.S. Department of Labor rule to reveal what the hired third parties recommend.
The new rule would overturn 50 years of precedent and labor practices and force both employers and their consultants to publicly divulge any and all advice they exchange on the topic of unionization.
The new rule effectively eliminates the “advice exception” from the Labor-Management Reporting & Disclosure Act (LMRDA) of 1959 disclosure requirements. Currently under the LMRDA, employers and outside labor relations consultants must file disclosure reports only when the outside consultant attempts to persuade employees not to join a union, rather than simply providing labor law advice to the employer.
“The DOL has once again hit businesses and employers with a burdensome rule that places them at a disadvantage when dealing with organized labor,” Robert Cresanti, CEO of the International Franchise Association, said in a communication to members. “The rule will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on franchise companies receiving labor law advice from outside counsel and effectively deters businesses away from seeking sound legal advice.”
The new rule takes effect July 1.