New rules from DOL will be profitable to Big Labor, while small retailers will be the first to suffer.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has officially released the final rules under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. These rules significantly narrow the advice exemption for employers under the Act.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) issued the following statement in response to the new rules from the Department of Labor:
“Once again, the Obama administration is bowing to labor unions and eliminating a well-established, clear test in favor of an ambiguous and open-ended standard that will lead to confusion for America’s employers,” said David French, NRF senior vice president for government relations. “For more than 50 years, the Department of Labor has maintained a clear definition of the advice exemption so that employers could seek and receive legal counsel and protect employer free speech. Now, DOL is rewriting the law without any involvement from Congress and without any proof a change is needed.”
“DOL’s new rules would trigger reporting requirements for any communications that could even indirectly persuade workers regarding collective bargaining,” French continued. “NRF is concerned that the new standard will discourage employers from seeking advice of counsel in a broad swath of areas that have nothing to do with traditional persuader activities.”
“The end result will be a chilling effect on simple legal advice regarding employee or collective bargaining issues. Small retailers will be the first to suffer, and Big Labor will profit from this muzzling of free speech,” French concluded.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the U.S. and more than 45 countries.