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Byrne Introduces Resolution to Block Controversial “Persuader” Regulation

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, today introduced a resolution (H.J. Res. 87) under the Congressional Review Act to block a controversial new rule by the Department of Labor. Known as the “persuader” rule, the regulation will make it harder for employers to communicate with employees and undermine the right of workers to make informed decisions in union elections.

“I am proud to introduce legislation to protect hardworking Americans and employers from a rule that would restrict privacy, upend the attorney-client relationship, and limit employee access to information during an organizing campaign,” said Rep. Byrne. “Worst of all, no one would be hurt more by the persuader rule than small- to medium-sized businesses. The rule is ultimately just another attempt by the Obama administration to upset decades of legal precedent and put the interests of Big Labor bosses over what is best for American workers. Congress must act to stop this flawed rule from moving forward.”

“While disappointing, the Obama administration’s attempt to once again cater to the interests of unions is not surprising,” said Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. “This rule would undermine the rights of workers and restrict employers’ free speech, and that’s why congressional action is needed to stop this unnecessary and misguided regulation. I thank Rep. Byrne and Chairman Kline for their leadership on this issue, and I’m proud to join this important effort.”

“We cannot stand by while the administration advances the interests of union leaders at the expense of hardworking Americans,” said Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. “As someone who spent years advising employers on their rights and responsibilities under federal labor law, Rep. Byrne knows better than anyone the harmful consequences this rule will impose on both small businesses and working families. I am grateful Rep. Byrne has introduced this resolution and is helping to lead the fight to protect the rights of workers and employers.”

BACKGROUND: In March, the Department of Labor released its final “persuader” rule, vastly restricting the long-standing “advice” exemption under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. This new regulatory scheme requires employers to report virtually any contact with advisors on union-related issues—a dramatic departure from well-established labor policy that required disclosure only when an advisor had direct contact with employees. To make matters worse, unions and their advisors are exempt from these onerous regulatory requirements. As a result, the rule will:
  • Restrict employers’ free speech by impairing their ability to communicate with their employees about unionization efforts.
  • Stifle workers’ free choice and deprive them of the information they need to decide whether to join a union. 
  • Burden many small business owners who will have to navigate a host of complex labor policies without any legal advice.
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prevent, with the full force of the law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or issuing a substantially similar rule without congressional authorization. The resolution introduced by Rep. Byrne would halt the Department of Labor’s “persuader” rule, which is scheduled to go into effect April 25, 2016.

To read the resolution, click here.

To learn more, click here


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