NSBA Fights DOL Advice Regulation

October 5, 2011

NSBA has submitted comments for a hearing of the House Small Business Committee scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 5. the hearing, “Department of Labor Regulations under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act,” will explore DOL’s proposed regulations on the advice exception to the persuader rules, urging that the proposal must be withdrawn.

In its comments, NSBA argued that the proposed rule is contrary to Congressional intent, highly intrusive, costly and unclear. It threatens attorney-client privilege and attempts to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist.

Under the new rule, employers will be required to report on consultants assisting with speech-writing, public relations advice, labor campaigns, web sites, emails or other materials for employer communication to employees or the public, no matter how minor or indirect the relation to any labor dispute. In addition, modification of personnel policies and practices fall under the persuader activities list. Therefore, arrangements with and the content of the work by attorneys, insurance agents, HR consultants, pension consultants, accountants or financial advisoers who review benefits packages or other personnel practices would be reportable.

Given the civil and criminal penalties associated with the Act, such a broad reporting requirement is totally unwarranted and deeply troubling.

Please click here to view the full comments.