New Persuader Rule Reporting to Begin Late April

rules and regulations

In a move that could have a significant impact on NAHB and home builders associations across the nation who offer presentations, seminars and other union and labor-related issue content, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) today published its final “persuader” rule in the Federal Register.

The final rule, which will become effective in 30 days, will narrow the exemption for what union-related communications between employers and attorneys remain confidential.

NAHB has been fighting these changes to the persuader rule since they were first proposed in 2011, arguing that it will eviscerate current attorney-client privilege by forcing employers to file reports to the government when they engage in private labor counsel with outside consultants and lawyers. NAHB has also opposed DOL’s proposal because it may have imposed reporting obligations for trade associations that provide their members with union or labor-related educational programs. Most recently, NAHB is urging Congress to stop the rule through an appropriations rider.

Prior to this final rule, DOL’s persuader rule only applied to consultants if the consultant had direct contact with employees, and the rule maintained the “advice exemption” found in the statute that authorizes the persuader rule. DOL’s final rule will impose new and more far-reaching reporting requirements on employers and their consultants. It will significantly narrow the advice exemption by requiring consultants to file publicly available reports to the government detailing these private exchanges.

The DOL is also seeking to make changes to Form LM-21 this fall. This is a required disclosure form related to persuader activity and requires an employer to disclose all receipts related to the labor advice given. The proposed rule revising Form LM-21 will not be issued before September.

For more information, email Suzanne Beall at NAHB or call her at 800-368-5242 x8407.

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