The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued its final rule concerning the controversial “persuader rule” that greatly expands employers’ obligations under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (the “LMRDA”). The persuader rule, scheduled to take effect July 1, 2016, not only impacts employers with union-represented employees, but it also may impact employers who presently do not have union-represented employees or union-organizing activities.
Under the LMRDA, any person who pursuant to any “agreement or arrangement” with an employer undertakes to persuade employees to exercise or not exercise their right to organize and bargain collectively, is obligated to report specific information about such agreement or arrangement to the DOL. Historically, the DOL has treated most legal work to be exempt from these reporting requirements, provided that the attorneys avoided direct communication with their clients’ rank and file employees and the client was free to accept or reject the attorney’s advice. However, the DOL’s revised persuader rule extends the reporting requirements to “indirect persuader activities” engaged in by attorneys. (more…)