ABC reiterated its opposition to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “persuader rule” ahead of the April 27 U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing on how the newly finalized regulation limits employers’ rights and undermines the right of workers to make informed decisions in union elections. The final rule, issued March 23, redefines “persuader” activity under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and triggers expanded reporting requirements for employers and their attorneys. 

At the hearing, subcommittee Chairman Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), a former small business owner, shared the concern of employers that the “persuader rule” will have the effect of chilling employer free speech and jeopardizes an employer’s fundamental right to obtain legal counsel. He singled out the burden on small business owners in particular, who do not have in-house attorneys to make sense of complex labor laws. He explained, “Small businesses will struggle to navigate the maze of federal labor rules and requirements. Some will become tied up in bureaucratic red tape and mistakenly run afoul of the law while trying to do what’s best for their employees.”

ABC submitted a letter for the record thanking the committee for calling attention to the harmful impact that the “persuader rule” will have on the construction industry. ABC explained, “It is essential that employers in the construction industry retain the ability to receive expert counsel and advice on labor relations matters. The vast majority of ABC contractors are small businesses without in-house attorneys or advisors; accordingly, they should not be burdened with vague and intrusive reporting regimes before, during and after a union organizing campaign.”

In the letter, ABC also expressed support for H.J. Res. 87, a resolution introduced by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) under the Congressional Review Act to prevent DOL from implementing the rule, and encouraged all members to support the resolution. 

ABC, ABC of Arkansas and a coalition of stakeholders have filed a joint lawsuit challenging the final “persuader rule.” The legal challenge was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.