A little-known labor law, enacted more than half a century ago, may soon be reinterpreted by the Obama Administration in an attempt to bolster union organizing. The statute requires consultants known as “persuaders” to disclose to the government their clients, services provided, and legal fees. For more than 50 years, lawyers who advised clients about employee communications, but did not communicate directly with employees, were not persuaders. But now, under a new interpretation of “advice,” lawyers will be persuaders if they “draft, revise or provide” employee communications with a persuasive objective. And the scope of required disclosure will be vastly expanded to encompass all “protected concerted activity.” A law firm will be required to make full disclosure to the federal government on every one of its labor and employment law clients, even if they do not receive persuader services. If a firm fails to comply, its top officers will face severe criminal penalties — a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
- Mr. Harold P. (Hal) Coxson, Shareholder, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC
- Mr. Michael J. Lotito, Co-Chairman, Workplace Policy Institute and Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC
- Moderator: Mr. William J. Emanuel, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson P.C.
- Introduction: Mr. Dean Reuter, Vice President and Practice Groups Director, The Federalist Society