In a sweeping case of government overreach, the Department of Labor (DOL) is requiring all communications with one's lawyer or consultants regarding labor advice or training concerning union avoidance to be reported to the DOL, which will publish the reports on the internet after July 1, 2016. Americans are used to having meetings and dialogue with our trusted advisers and counselors without the world knowing about the frequency of our meetings and the intimate conversations. In a George Orwellian overreach, the federal government is requiring us to share the nature of our private meetings with the public even though we are private job creators. Freedom of speech requires the ability to speak privately and this bureaucratic rule created by no one elected will curb our enjoyment of a basic liberty and chill our ability to get wise advice and counsel.
It is a bizarre time when the Department of Justice is omitting Orlando's terrorist comments because it may upset our notion of our enemy's inner thoughts but the Department of Labor is demanding private conversations with USA job creators and their advisers to be reported on the internet? We are the good guys--the feds should be protecting us, not Orlando terrorists.
Thankfully, there are three federal lawsuits challenging the new DOL freedom of speech grab. According to Andrew Auerbach, the Deputy Director in charge of reporting, agreements entered into before July 1, 2016, are safe: Services performed and payments made pursuant to a multiyear agreement, even if they occur after July 1, 2016, are not required to be reported on the new Form LM-20, so long as the agreement was signed prior to July 1, 2016. For agreements that existed before July 1, 2016, the old reporting rules apply.
Message to Washington: Freedom of Speech should not require us to fill out forms. What would Thomas Jefferson say?
Here are two things you can do today:
1. If you need labor law advice in the future, sign your labor lawyer retainers this month. No later. You will be grandfathered in before the Orwellian DOL rules are triggered.
2. Call your congressman and senator and demand that DOL stops snooping in our private conversations. Tell them that DOL's Auerbach plan to eliminate free speech by job creators is against the tenants of the U.S. Constitution. We should not have to fill out forms to talk.