New “Persuader Rule” from Dept of Labor Requires Employers to Disclose Anti-Union Activities

The Labor Department released this week its long-anticipated and controversial “persuader” rule. The measure mandates that employers disclose the use of outside legal and consulting help in responding to unionization attempts in the workplace.

Click here to download the Fact Sheet. (PDF)

The rule, first proposed in 2011, would expand existing federal reporting requirements under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. On a practical level, an employer would have to reveal any hiring of a third-party labor relations attorney or other consultant to try to prevent its employees’ unionization attempts, if the consultant engages in any activities that go beyond the plain meaning of “advice.” The new requirements apply even if a consultant has no direct contact with workers.

Labor groups such as the AFL-CIO and International Association of Machinists praised the rule’s release as increasing transparency on employer activities, while major industry advocates such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce criticized the rule, arguing the new rules are simply a one-sided assist to organized labor and stifle employer free speech.
The rule, which would apply to any agreements made after July 1, 2016, states that an employer and consultant will have to report to the Department of Labor when they’re engaged in the following:

  • planning or conducting employee meetings;
  • training supervisors or employer representatives to conduct meetings;
  • coordinating or directing the activities of supervisors or employer representatives;
  • establishing or facilitating employee committees;
  • drafting, revising or providing speeches;
  • developing personnel policies designed to persuade employees;
  • identifying employees for disciplinary action, reward or other targeting.

In the rule, the Department of Labor estimates that nearly 90 percent of employers hire consultants to help counter union organizing campaigns.

The American Bar Association has criticized the measure, saying it damages lawyer-client privilege. There are certain exemptions in the rule that protect a narrow range of employer activity.
On Capitol Hill, some congressional Republicans are preparing legislation to overturn or block the rule.
For more information on the “persuader rule” and a range of new labor policy developments that are transforming the workplace, make plans to attend the NASF Washington Forum in April.

Posted in Law & Regulation | Tagged , , , , ,

Former U.S. Ambassador Jim Smith to Headline NASF Washington Forum

Wednesday, April 20 Afternoon Session

Jim Smith

Washington, D.C., March 23, 2016 – Surface technology industry leaders will welcome former U.S. Ambassador James Smith for remarks at the upcoming NASF Washington Forum, scheduled for April 19-20 at the Ritz Carlton – Pentagon City. Smith, who will speak on U.S. and international trade issues, now serves as President of C&M International (CMI), the international policy consulting firm affiliated with Crowell & Moring LLP. A seasoned diplomat with international business experience, Smith is a former U.S. Air Force brigadier general and F-15 fighter pilot who served in Operation Desert Storm.

“NASF is truly pleased to host Ambassador Smith for this year’s Forum. The trade landscape presents opportunities as well as challenges to the value chains we operate in, wherever we are in the surface technology world,” said Erik Weyls, NASF President. “Being better informed on policy to make strategic business decisions is what this event is all about, and we’re looking forward to hearing more on the outlook ahead in this election year.”

Smith served as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2009 to 2013. While in the Air Force, Smith commanded the 94th Fighter Squadron, the 325th Operations Group, and the 18th Fighter Wing in Okinawa, Japan, where he led the largest fighter wing in the U.S. Air Force. In this role, he worked to expand relations with the local communities through a campaign called “Bases Without Fences.” In senior leadership positions for multinational corporations, Smith spearheaded efforts involving strategic planning, manufacturing, international business development, and political risk analysis.

Smith is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. In addition, he earned an M.A. from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and is a graduate of the Naval War College and the National War College, where he served as a professor of national security strategy.

For more information or to register for the upcoming NASF Washington Forum, click here or contact Cheryl Clark at (302) 436-5616.

Posted in Events, Law & Regulation | Tagged , , ,

Automotive OEM Group Headlines SUR/FIN Sustainability Summit

Tanya Bolden, director of Corporate Responsibility Products and Services at the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), will speak at the SUR/FIN Sustainability Summit on Monday, June 6, on emerging corporate sustainability trends for automotive OEMs and the supply chain. As leader of AIAG’s strategic programming, Bolden works with teams of volunteers from AIAG member companies to develop and implement guidelines and share best practices to help companies manage their legislative, regulatory, and customer requirements on issues such as supply chain sustainability, environmental responsibility and business ethics. She joined AIAG in 2010 from General Motors Co., where she was corporate responsibility manager, responsible for a range of global corporate issues impacting the company. She specifically was responsible for the social sector, including industry collaborations, stakeholder engagement, reporting, risk assessment and cross-functional leadership interface. Bolden worked at GM for 20 years in a variety of positions. She holds a bachelors of science from Michigan State University and a master of science in administration from Central Michigan University.

Posted in Events, Law & Regulation | Tagged , , ,