You need to act before Wednesday. At a time when the Obama Administration is clamoring to save or create jobs, his Department of Labor is about to sucker punch America's job creators with an unprecedented regulatory overreach—all to curry more favor with union bosses.
On Wednesday, the public comment period will be closing on a Department of Labor proposal that the majority of America knows nothing about and even fewer understand.
If enacted as drafted, the union cronies within the Department of Labor will require every private-sector employer and service provider (whether or not they ever talk directly to employees) to file financial statements with the Obama Labor Department if the service provider's services indirectly affect employees' choice to unionize or not.
Unless you act by commenting here, this rule change will likely take affect. [See link to and sample comment below.]
Once the financial information—which includes the service provider's entire company (or firm's) receipts (even from other clients)—are submitted, it will become public information. It will then be published on the Department of Labor's website and available to union bosses. What's more, willful failure to file the financial information is a criminal violation, punishable by either imprisonment, a fine, or both.
In June, when the Department of Labor, at the behest of union bosses, issued a 160-page proposal to expand the interpretation of "advice" under a little-known law called the Labor-Management Reporting & Disclosure Act, few understood just how deeply the DOL's proposed rule change could affect employers and consultants of all stripes--not just those involved in labor relations. Most still don't understand it.
In addition to companies who hire attorneys to assist them with union issues, the Department of Labor's broad expansion into areas that most would not consider remotely connected to unions, but because it could indirectly affect [read deter] employees' choice to unionize, the Department of Labor will likely call this "persuader activity."
Here are the types of vendors (and the employers that hire them or purchase goods from them) who will likely be caught up in the DOL's new proposed rules:
- Writers (or authors) who may write a website, publication, sell a book, or other material that may promote a positive employee relations culture, thereby dissuading employees from unionizing
- Website designers who may be contracted to design and build a website to be used for internal communications with employees
- Consultants who coach management on how to structure and effectively manage employee teams
- Employee engagement consultants who help companies and employees with positive employee relations
- Productivity consultants who design and implement quality, or any other type of teams that may give employees a voice in the success of their companies’ products
- Safety consultants who help establish safety committees that give employees the ability to voice safety concerns to their employer to resolve safety issues
- Human resources consultants that design, write, or implement employee handbooks or policies
- Compensation and benefit consultants who design and administer any type of benefit, pay or incentive plans for companies
- Consultants who conduct surveys to determine employee satisfaction at their jobs
Since the Department of Labor's phraseology is: "...activities that have as a direct or indirect object to, explicitly or implicitly, influence the decisions of employees with respect to forming, joining or assisting a union, collective bargaining, or any protected concerted activity (such as a strike) in the workplace," the type of activity that an employer and consultant may be required to report to the Department of Labor is almost endless.
Again, the public comment period closes on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. All comments must be received on or before Wednesday.
If you do not act by submitting a comment, it is likely this rule change will go into effect causing many job creators, instead of focusing on job creation, to spend more time and resources on more paperwork, or risk going to jail. Moreover, it will cause many unsuspecting service providers who currently do not know they will fall into the Department of Labor's trap to either violate the law, or open their personal, company or firm earnings to the Department of Labor, the public and union bosses.
Below is a sample comment provided, courtesy of the Labor Relations Institute. It is suggested that you download, individualize or personalize it before sending to the Department of Labor, then submit your comments to the Department of Labor here.
The choice is yours: You can act by submitting a comment, or you can give union bosses what they want--the ability to target more employers.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com