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Committee Approves Resolution to Protect Rights of Workers and Employers, Block “Persuader” Rule

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today approved a resolution (H. J. Res. 87) under the Congressional Review Act to protect the rights of workers and employers by blocking a new rule by the Department of Labor. Known as the “persuader” rule, the regulation will undermine the ability of employers to communicate with employees and deprive workers of the information they need to make fully-informed decisions in union elections. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) and passed the committee by a vote of 22 to 13.

“Time and time again, this administration has catered to powerful union interests at the expense of hardworking families,” Rep. Byrne said. “We won’t sit back while the department rewrites decades of labor policy in a partisan effort to silence employers and stifle workers' free choice. This rule will make it far more difficult for small businesses to obtain legal advice during union elections, and even worse, for workers to hear from both sides of the debate. Congress has a responsibility to protect the rights of America’s workers and job creators, and today’s vote is an important step.”

“I commend Representative Byrne for introducing this resolution and taking a stand against a rule that will wreak havoc on working families and small businesses,” Chairman Kline said. “As someone who has practiced labor law, Representative Byrne knows firsthand that this rule will make it harder for workers to make informed decisions on issues that directly impact the health and economic well-being of their families. At a time when millions of Americans are searching for full-time jobs and living paycheck to paycheck, we will continue to fight the administration’s extreme agenda and push for commonsense, pro-growth solutions.”

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 all 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 remain 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 or not 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. H. J. Res. 87 would block the Department of Labor’s “persuader” rule, which went into effect April 25, 2016.

To read opening statements, click here.

To read the resolution, click here.

To learn more, click here.

 

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