IWLA Opposes Labor Department’s 'Persuader' Rules Proposal

The International Warehouse Logistics Association declared its strong opposition to new rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that it says would interfere with employers' right to engage in private conversations with consultants regarding labor relations, including attorney-client communications.

Under its proposed rules, the Labor Department would require that employers file detailed reports about consultations regarding labor relations, individuals engaged in these conversations, what the employers learned and how they intend to act on that knowledge. IWLA contends this represents a reinterpretation of the 1959 Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. It will require the disclosure of many routine communications between companies and their lawyers, IWLA believes, and would make employers disclose certain fees paid to supervisors or employees "for the purpose of causing them to persuade other employees to exercise or not to exercise, or as to the manner of exercising, the right to organize and bargain collectively."

IWLA President & CEO Joel Anderson said: "Once again, we see the administration working at cross purposes with its aim of promoting an economic recovery by taking another step that will worsen our persisting economic recession and encourage the relocation of jobs outside the United States. Under the proposed rules, if my member companies ask labor consultants to prepare materials on how to best communicate with their workforce, the employer must maintain and register this information with the Labor Department."

Anderson added: "This is an incredible incursion into the ability of companies to receive, weigh and commission advice on how to conduct effective communications with their own workforce. IWLA will strongly oppose this proposed regulation and defend our members' right to receive the best advice they can obtain to serve their customers and their workforce."

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