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The High Costs of Proposed New Labor-Law Regulations

issue brief

The High Costs of Proposed New Labor-Law Regulations

January 27, 2016
EconomicsEmploymentRegulations
Legal ReformOther

Abstract

In the spring of 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor is expected to issue a new interpretation of the “advice” exemption to the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. The DOL’s new interpretation would require businesses to disclose the names of any attorneys or consultants from whom they seek advice regarding union-organizing activities.

Key Findings

  • The proposed rule would sweep away over 50 years of precedent and contravene the express language and intent of the law originally passed by Congress.
  • By compromising companies’ ability to seek advice on compliance with federal labor law, the proposed rule would jeopardize firms’ as well as workers’ statutory rights.
  • The proposed rule could cost the U.S. economy between $7.5 billion and $10.6 billion during the first year of implementation, and between $4.3 billion and $6.5 billion per year thereafter; the total cost over a ten-year period could be approximately $60 billion—and this would not include the indirect economic effects of raising the cost of doing business in the United States.

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*This paper was originally released in April 2013, updated in January 2016.*

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