The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other industry groups are challenging the Department of Labor’s new “persuader rule,” which requires employers to disclose when they have retained the services of outside consultants and lawyers to counter union organizing efforts. NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly says the government action is a violation of manufacturers’ First and Fifth Amendment rights because it limits how employers can communicate with their employees.

“This complicated, vague rule fails to give manufacturers fair notice on what actions are considered forbidden and what forms of communication and outreach are considered reportable,” Kelly says. “Criminal liability will now be thrust on manufacturers based on a rule that is confusing and open ended.”

Rather than risk criminal penalty from a lack of reporting, Kelly states employers will stop communicating with their employees on important issues.