DOL finalizes anti-union 'persuader' rule

Employers will be required to report any anti-union and collective bargaining activity to employees under the final version of a “persuader” rule issued by the Department of Labor in late March.

It will require employers to disclose any relationships they have with labor consultants they hire to dissuade employees from unionizing, including developing plans for supervisors to persuade workers, creating anti-union materials and leading seminars against forming unions or collective bargaining.

An estimated 75% of employers hire such “persuaders,” but employees are often left in the dark, said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. 

The rule, which is set to apply to agreements made after July 1, is based on a 1959 law that requires employers to report if they hire labor consultants. However, an “enormous loophole” has allowed exemptions for consultants who advised employers without interacting with employees directly, the New York Times reported.

Provider organizations, including the American Hospital Association, expressed disappointment in the rule, saying it has “significant ambiguities and burdens.”