In a May 2014 letter to Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), Chairman of the Health, Education and the Workplace Committee, and Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, voiced their continued opposition to the proposed persuader regulations under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act and requested information and a meeting.
The proposed rules, issued in June 2011 by the U.S. Department of Labor, are controversial and generated more than 9,000 comments. Serious questions have been raised, by the American Bar Association among others, about the effect on attorney-client privilege for employers seeking advice on labor matters. Reps. Kline and Roe also noted that, although the DOL's own projections are that the regulation will cost a mere $825,886 in employer compliance costs the first year, the conservative Manhattan Institute reports that the rule is likely to cost employers and consultants between $7.5 and $10.6 billion the first year, and between $4.3 and $6.5 billion each year afterward. The Congressmen requested withdrawal of the proposed rule, or a response to their request for information by June 12.
A final persuader rule is expected to be issued when nominee Thomas E. Perez is confirmed as Labor Secretary. A vote on the Perez nomination is expected in July.