Labor Initiatives To Resurface in 2014

The Department of Labor (DOL)  and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have announced they will advance two controversial proposals in 2014.   

The Labor Department said it will issue its “persuader” final rule in March, which narrows long-standing reporting exemptions for employers and labor relations experts and redefines “advice,” in March. DOL released the date in its its recent regulatory agenda.  

If the rule is finalized, it will greatly expand the circumstances in which third party advice, used by employers to educate their employees about collective bargaining, would have to be reported by both the employer and the third party. Third parties include attorneys and association staff. As the proposal is currently written, the disclosure requirements also include money paid for these services. 

Several groups oppose the rule, saying it would deprive employers of their right to free speech, freedom of association and legal counsel, and would deprive employees of their right to obtain balanced and informed input from both sides as they decide whether to be represented by a union. 

The DOL's persuader rule is designed to work with the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rule that would shorten the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place. The NLRB included the issue in their recent regulatory agenda

The rules have been at issue since December 2011 when the NLRB issued the “ambush” election rule that would have reduced the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place, from the current average of around 40 days to as few as 17 to 20 days. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with other groups, filed a legal challenge, arguing the rule was adopted without statutorily required quorum of NLRB members. Earlier this week, NLRB dropped its appeal, and will revisit the issue early in 2014. 

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Brad Stotler

Stotler represents the truck stop and travel plaza industry on legislative and regulatory issues related to transportation, fuels, labor and the environment. Prior to his advocacy experience at NATSO and in the trucking industry, Stotler worked as a Legislative Aide on Capitol Hill for an Illinois Congressman. Stotler graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, and has completed additional course work in a master's program at Johns Hopkins University.More
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