Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) recently introduced a resolution (H.J. Res 87) under the Congressional Review Act to nullify the Department of Labor’s controversial final persuader rule, which went into effect April 25.
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prevent, with the full force of the law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or issuing a substantially similar rule without congressional authorization. The resolution introduced by Rep. Byrne would halt the Department of Labor’s Persuader Rule.
The Resolution represents more of a political statement as it has very little chance of being enacted.
The House Education and Workforce Committee has scheduled a hearing for April 27 on the Persuader Rule, calling it the Obama Administration’s latest attack on employer free speech and worker free choice.
The DOL in March issued a final Persuader Rule that limits the so-called "advice exemption" in the DOL's Persuader Rule. The rule requires employers and the experts they hire to disclose any arrangements where an expert is hired to communicate directly with employees about their decision to unionize. If the experts do not communicate directly with employees, but are simply providing "advice" to the employer about how to effectively/legally communicate with employees, this has been exempt from disclosure requirements.
DOL's new final rule narrows the scope of this "advice" exemption so that far more interactions between employers and hired experts providing advice on employee or labor relations will be subject to disclosure requirements. Because of the excessive costs associated with such disclosure, many in the employer and legal community fear that employers will no longer have access to routine legal counsel or expert advice on employee relations, human resources or employee benefits.
The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, of which NATSO is a member, and the National Association of Manufacturers, the Associated Builders and Contractors and other business groups challenged the rule in federal court in Arkansas in March.
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