Executive Briefings

Proposed Changes to Labor Law Have Many Companies Up in Arms

Union organizing is always a contentious topic, and proposed changes to corporate labor law have heated up the debate. The proposal, issued by the Department of Labor, would require attorneys to publicly disclose more information about the union-related advice they have given corporate clients - information that companies say could cast them in a negative light.

The DoL says the new rule, a proposed change to the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, would help employees decide whether or not to unionize. In its proposed rule, the DoL wrote that its current interpretation has caused significant underreporting of instances in which lawyers indirectly influenced employees on union issues. In a statement, the DoL stressed that "better disclosure is critical to helping workers make informed decisions about their right to organize and bargain collectively."

But thousands of business owners, lawyers and professional groups have flooded the DoL with letters saying the proposed rule would violate attorney-client confidentiality, make companies hesitate to consult lawyers, and heap compliance risk on businesses that need legal help to avoid violations.

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Union organizing is always a contentious topic, and proposed changes to corporate labor law have heated up the debate. The proposal, issued by the Department of Labor, would require attorneys to publicly disclose more information about the union-related advice they have given corporate clients - information that companies say could cast them in a negative light.

The DoL says the new rule, a proposed change to the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, would help employees decide whether or not to unionize. In its proposed rule, the DoL wrote that its current interpretation has caused significant underreporting of instances in which lawyers indirectly influenced employees on union issues. In a statement, the DoL stressed that "better disclosure is critical to helping workers make informed decisions about their right to organize and bargain collectively."

But thousands of business owners, lawyers and professional groups have flooded the DoL with letters saying the proposed rule would violate attorney-client confidentiality, make companies hesitate to consult lawyers, and heap compliance risk on businesses that need legal help to avoid violations.

Read Full Article