DOL Regulations - Live Q&A Session with OLMS - Static Version
Monday, April 26, 11 a.m. EDT
Please note that input received during the course of this web chat is not part of the formal rulemaking process. You can find DOL’s proposed regulations, and submit comments, by visiting www.regulations.gov.
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10:46 Moderator: Welcome! Our chat will begin at 11 a.m. EDT, but you can submit your questions at any time. Your questions will show up in the chat window when they are answered. This is a text-only chat, so there will be no audio or video.
10:59 Comment From Rachelle: why no audio or video?
10:59 Moderator: It's a Q & A session, rather than a webcast, so just text for this session.
11:00 Director John Lund: This is John Lund, Director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards. Welcome to the OLMS Web chat on its spring semiannual regulatory agenda. The purpose of this web chat is to highlight OLMS’ regulatory priorities, and get your input. We won’t be able, however, to identify exactly what will be proposed, or the substance of particular regs or planned rulemaking. Input received during the course of this web chat is not part of the formal rulemaking process.
We have an extensive rulemaking agenda. Here’s a refresher:
We plan to publish a proposed rule to expand the scope of employer-consultant reporting required under Section 203 of the LMRDA. Under the LMRDA, an employer must report on Form LM-10 any agreement or arrangement with a third party consultant to persuade employees as to their collective bargaining rights or to obtain certain information concerning the activities of employees or a labor organization in connection with a labor dispute. In turn, a labor relations consultant is required to report on Form LM-20 the agreement or arrangement. The regulations currently contain a statutory provision that creates an “advice” exemption from reporting requirements. A proposed revised interpretation would narrow the scope of the advice exemption.
We will be issuing a proposed rule on the Form LM-30. The Form LM-30 (Labor Organization Officer and Employee Report) is required by the LMRDA. Its purpose is to identify potential conflicts of interest between the labor organization officials and their labor organization.
I am looking forward to your questions and comments.
For more information about OLMS and our programs please visit www.olms.dol.gov.
11:06 Comment From Philip: In the future, does the Department intend to revisit any of the Bush Administration’s changes to the LM-2 form – e.g., the new requirement that expenses be placed in one of five “functional categories” or the itemization threshold?
11:06 John: Philip, thank you for your question. We have no plans at this time, as the regulatory agenda indicates.
11:06 Comment From s.baird: Question:at my job,we are required to be on shift 15 minutes prior to our actual duty shift begins to do counts and recieve reports but we are not allowed to clock this time:1.5 hours a week,how legal is this?
11:06 John: Thanks for your question. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for enforcing some of our nation’s most comprehensive federal labor laws on topics, including the minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, youth employment and special employment, family and medical leave, migrant workers, lie detector tests, worker protections in certain temporary worker programs, and the prevailing wages for government service and construction contracts.
WHD has a web chat on Wednesday April 28th at 9am EDT. I encourage you to tune in. For more information on WHD, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd.
11:07 Comment From David: John, when would the proposed LM-20 rule change be implemented?
11:07 John: Thank you David, for your question. According to our regulatory agenda, we will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in November of 2010. Upon close of the comment period, the Department will review all comments received and any final rule will include an effective date.
11:07 Comment From Debbie: Thank you for adding this proposed change on the advice exemption to your agenda. It is important for employees -- and shareholders --to know more about the payments employers make to "union avoidance" consultants on how to prevent their employees from having the option to join a union.
11:07 John: Debbie, thank you for your input and we encourage you, and all interested parties, to participate in the planned rulemaking.
11:10 Moderator: Hello, everyone! We have a good group of people here today, but we need more questions. Keep them coming!
11:14 Comment From Philip: Did I interpret the agenda correctly as indicating that a final rule on the T-1/Intermediate Bodies proposal will issue in December?
11:14 John: Phillip, thanks for your question. We issued the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on February 2; we closed the record on April 5. We are currently reviewing the comments submitted. Our plan is to issue the final rule by December 2010.
11:23 Comment From Debbie: Can you please say a bit more about proposed Request for Information on Internet Balloting in Union Officer Elections? What is genesis and objective of the RFI? Thanks.
11:23 John: Debbie, thank you for your question. The Request For Information is intended to enable all interested parties to provide OLMS with information, experience and data on the interplay between advancing technology and the rules governing the election of union officers.
11:25 Comment From David: I echo Debbie's sentiments, this is long overdue. The "advice" exemption has long been a morass for union avoidance consultants and those that hire them. What types of activities are being considered under the expansion of the "advice" exemption?
11:25 John: Thank you again David for your questions. The proposal is currently in development. In this rulemaking, the Department is concerned with the interpretation of the advice exception, which will include consideration of direct or indirect activities where the object is to persuade employees regarding their rights to organize and bargain collectively.
As we mentioned in the last answer, we are planning to publish the notice in November 2010. If you have any specific examples of persuader activities, we would encourage you to submit those as part of the public comment process for the planned notice of proposed rulemaking. Once the notice is published in November, you can submit those comments at http://www.regulations.gov/.
11:26 Comment From Rachelle: Is it possible to get a quick summary of what is in the proposal and how it affects employees?
11:26 John: Rachelle, thanks. Which proposal are you referring to?
11:35 Comment From Rachelle: T-1/Intermediate Bodies proposal
11:35 John: Rachelle, you can find that quick summary here: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201004&RIN=1245-AA02.
11:37 Comment From Rachelle: thank you
11:38 Comment From elaine c.: what is the status of the mployee rights poster and how will it be changed?
11:38 John: Thanks Elaine, on September 2, 2009, the comment period closed for the notice of proposed rule making to implement the Employee Rights Notifications Provisions of Executive Order 13496. The comments are still under consideration. OLMS plans that the final rule will be published in June 2010.
11:40 Comment From Terry: Am I understanding correctly...the priorities for the Office of Labor Management is to revise section 203, specifically the forms LM 10 and LM 20, LM 10 for the employer and LM 20 for the consultant...and also a proposed rule on the Form LM 30?
11:41 John: Terry, among the priorities on the spring agenda, OLMS intends to issue rulemakings on the disclosure forms you mentioned. (We do not intend to seek legislative revision of the LMRDA section 203). The focus of these form LM-10 and LM-20 rulemakings will be on reporting and disclosure of persuader activities. As to the form LM-30, we intend to review questions of law and policy to clarify and to better enforce and administer disclosure of potential conflicts between the interests of union officials and their union. Our purpose is to ensure an appropriate balance of the burdens and benefits of this reporting regime.
11:43 Comment From Patrick Szymanski: DoL should consider at a minimum requiring reporting of the outlines of the arrangement, ie, the dates effective, the overall cost or fee, and any direct employee contact. The substance of the advice can be excepted but the existence of the arrangement should be disclosed. After all, Unions are required to provide similar information on their LM-2 reports.
11:43 John: Patrick, thank you for your input and ideas. We encourage you to submit your views at http://www.regulations.gov/ when this rulemaking opens for public comment planned for late 2010.
11:47 Comment From David: Just a comment, the substance of the "advice" is a key issue and what has allowed even the most notorious "consultants" to escape any reporting burden.
11:48 Comment From Patrick Szymanski: Will do so. Also appreciate the effort to clarify the LM-30 situation. This is an area that needs attention and, hopefully, explanations and Q&A's that don't take a team of lawyers to interpret and apply to everyday situations.
11:48 John: Patrick, thanks for your comment. We agree this is an important consideration and we plan to provide clear guidance to the public on this topic.
11:51 Comment From Patrick Szymanski: Is there any plan to address the issue of reporting on LM-2's of credit cards payments?
11:51 John: Patrick, we have no plans to consider revisions of the Form LM-2 at this time, as the regulatory agenda indicates.
11:52 Comment From Patrick Szymanski: Thanks.
11:59 John: Thank you for taking the time to participate in today's Web chat. Your ideas and suggestions are important to us as we continue in our rulemaking process. Be assured that no rule will be finalized without you, the public, having an opportunity to provide your views, concerns, data, or studies. Each comment submitted in a rulemaking will be given serious consideration as we move toward achieving our regulatory goals. For more information on DOL's regulatory priorities, visit http://www.dol.gov/regulations/
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