Human Resources Executive Online ran a piece today in which I commented on the Department of Labor’s proposed overhaul of the fifty-year old interpretation of "advice" in Section 203 of the LMRDA:

"The DOL is proposing to drastically widen the net it’s casting … ; this new rule will drag in an almost endless variety of business advisers, forcing them to disclose information about their finances, their contractual relationships and make the reporting requirements so onerous that employers are going to have to think twice about whether to avail themselves of these consultants’ services," says Borden.

"On the flip side," he says, "consultants and attorneys are going to have to decide whether or not to continue in the line of business they’re in — whether this level of disclosure, and the paperwork it entails, is worth it."

The piece also features commentary from former NLRB General Counsel Ron Meisburg, now an attorney with Proskauer:

"I don’t think this is proper," says Meisburg. "[This proposal] is going to potentially sweep in what attorneys have long done for clients, which includes training, documentation and so forth. I think that’s why Congress put in an advice exception [to the LMRDA] in the first place, to prevent this kind of problem from coming up."

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, on the other hand, calls this a "modest step": 

"The proposed rule does not address many of the fundamental problems with our labor laws, but it will help bring critically needed fairness and balance to this part of the process," Trumka said after the proposal was announced.

Needless to say, we respectfully disagree.  You can read the entire piece here.