In prior posts, we reported on the U.S. Department of Labor’s attempt to narrow the “advice exception” to the reporting requirements under Section 203 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. Most recently, the DOL had indicated its intent to issue a final rule in March of 2014 that would narrow the well-known “advice exception” to the reporting requirement to require reporting of any consulting relationships where the consultant engages in actions or communications that would indirectly or directly persuade employees regarding organizing. Since it was first proposed in 2011, the anticipated final rule has drawn criticism from employers and the attorneys who provide valuable legal advice to employers in the context of union organizing. If adopted, the rule would have a significant impact on employers because they would no longer be able to avoid reporting third-party consulting arrangements by isolating consultants from direct employee interaction. The rule could also interfere with an employer’s ability to obtain legal advice from their attorneys due to the concern that both the employer and the attorneys may incur reporting obligations as well.
Bloomberg BNA (subscription required) reported late last week that the DOL has decided to delay the finalization of the anticipated rule scheduled for this month. As of this posting, the DOL has not specified a new date for the release of the anticipated rule. We will continue to monitor this evolving issue and provide updates to keep you informed.