September 20 2011

IWF Comments--and Objects--to Proposed Rule

The Independent Women's Forum writes to comment on your Notice of Proposed Rule-making, which would narrow the "advice exception" under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.

We object to this proposed rule. We are particularly concerned since this proposed rule will be a drag on business, discourage job creation, and further damage the economy. As such, it is the wrong direction for this country and can have particularly harmful effects on women, who are often the most vulnerable to job loss and economic downturns. There is no need for this new rule, which won't impact the supposed problems with the current reporting rules, and could have a potentially devastating impact on companies and the economy overall.

The proposed rule drastically expands the definition of "persuasion" to include numerous common human resource activities, such as conducting employee surveys, drafting policies or procedures, holding employee committee meetings, or attending continuing education seminars or conferences. These commonplace and necessary activities would be treated as potentially illegal, and that need to be reported to government authorities.

The problems with such requirements are numerous, creating uncertainty for business about what needs to be reported, discouraging positive exchange between employer and employees, making it a potentially criminal offense to engage the services of a consultant or attorney, and creating costly, time-consuming new regulatory burdens for businesses.

There is no need for this proposed rule. Problems cited as justification for the new rule could be addressed under existing rules by the National Labor Relations Board. Instead, your proposed rule-making seeks to substantially increase reporting of lawful activities by millions of employers.

Women need a growing dynamic economic to provide the wide-variety of job opportunities that hey need and want. This rule moves the country in the wrong direction, forcing companies to spend more time and resources to comply with unnecessary, counterproductive government red-tape. This is the wrong direction for the economy, and the wrong direction for our country.

This rule should be rejected.

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