The Department of Labor today released its final rule narrowing the "advice" exemption for “persuader” reporting by employers and labor consultants under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. The final rule, which adopts with slight changes a DOL proposal from 2011, would significantly expand the circumstances requiring employers and labor consultants to report activities specifically undertaken to encourage employees to vote for or against union representation or take a certain position with respect to collective bargaining proposals. “The significant ambiguities and burdens created by the new reporting standards may discourage many from seeking or providing the expertise that is critical and necessary to help hospitals and other employers follow the law,” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. DOL’s prior interpretation of the exemption required reporting only when a consultant communicated directly with employees. The AHA and its American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration had urged DOL to abandon the proposed new interpretation. The final rule will be published in tomorrow’s Federal Register and applies to employer-consultant arrangements, agreements or payments made starting July 1. The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, of which AHA is a member, is considering a legal challenge to the rule.