The Department of Labor this week rescinded a proposed rule that would have forced employers to disclose outside consultants they hire to counter workers’ union organizing efforts.
These consultants often work with lawyers for the company and the new rule would have, arguably, created some potential issues with the attorney client privilege for these companies.
The Department of Labor released a statement explaining its decision too saying:
“For decades, the Department enforced an easy-to-understand regulation: Personal interactions with employees done by employers’ consultants triggered reporting obligations, but advice between a client and attorney did not,” the Office of Policy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Nathan Mehrens remarked. “By rescinding this Rule, the Department stands up for the rights of Americans to ask a question of their attorney without mandated disclosure to the government.”
Over the last few years, there have been bills proposed at the Connecticut legislature that would attempt to tie employer’s hands in union organizing campaigns though the constitutionality of the proposed bills has been called into question.
At least with the U.S. Department of Labor’s rescission of the proposed rule, employers that are the subject of union organizing campaigns will have a tool in their arsenal to fight them — if they so wish.