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Will You Lose Your Labor Lawyer?

HandshakeThe Department of Labor issued its long dreaded "persuader" regulation that seeks to intimidate businesses and their labor counsel from working with each other in the future. In short, any labor lawyer who is engaged to help a company deal with union organizing or other union issues now may have to file, (under threat of potential criminal sanctions for failing to file), detailed information about the nature and cost of legal representation. Similarly, employers will have to file documents with the Department of Labor detailing who they retained, what they did, and how much they were paid. In addition, that information will probably be available on the Department of Labor website. 

The ridiculous theory of the Obama administration is that unless employees know that a third party is drafting or advising their employer in any communications to the employees during a union organizing drive, they might mistakenly think the employer actually wrote it. What? Does this really make a difference? Why are labor lawyers and their clients being discriminated against by this onerous reporting requirement? Why shouldn’t real estate and zoning lawyers be forced to file similar reports when they try to influence local Zoning Boards of Boards of Appeal or Township Boards for a contested condo development or strip center in a residential area? Why shouldn't environmental lawyers be required to file similar reports when they are defending a company in a contested oil or chemical spill problem?

This clearly is an attempt to scare away labor lawyers from representing companies in the future who have been targeted by unions for harassment or organizing or picketing, etc.

Fasten your seatbelts everybody!

Categories: Department of Labor, News & Events, Regulations, Union


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