Home builders sue over new labor union rule

The National Association of Home Builders has come out against a new Labor Department union rule, which the organization says violates business owners’ First Amendment rights

Home builders sue over new labor union rule
The National Association of Home Builders and the National Federation of Independent Business have joined with other industry groups to sue the Department of Labor over a new rule – a rule they say violates business owners’ First Amendment rights.

The Department of Labor’s new “union persuader” rule, set to take effect July 1, would require employers to report whether and when they consult with an attorney to discuss union organizing. Labor unions, meanwhile, don’t face a similar requirement. Previously, employers were only required to report when outside counsel communicated directly with employees.

“DOL’s final persuader rule is another example of regulatory overreach that will impose far-reaching reporting requirements on employers and their consultants and result in significant monetary and legal implications for home building firms,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady. “This lawsuit is necessary to maintain long standing policy on what union-related communications between employers and attorneys remain confidential.”

“Once again, the administration is rigging the game in favor of workplace unionization,” said NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned.  “The DOL is putting small employers at a profound disadvantage. Unions pay people whose full-time job is to organize workers. Small employers have businesses to run.  They don’t have in-house lawyers or compliance officers to guide them through the process or navigate the complicated rules governing union organizing.”

The NAHB and the NFIB are joined in the lawsuit by the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Association of Builders and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. The lawsuit contends that the “union persuader” rule violates the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of association. It also contends that the rule violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.