Small Business Declares Victory Over Controversial “Union Walk Around Rule”

Date: April 28, 2017

Department of Labor issues memo rescinding rule that gave union representatives access to non-unionized businesses

For Immediate Release
Andrew Wimer, 202-314-2073 or 703-298-5938 (cell)
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Washington, D.C. (April 28, 2017) – Today the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) announced victory in a lawsuit filed against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last fall. NFIB’s lawsuit argued that OSHA violated the law in announcing a controversial rule back in 2013. The “Union Walk Around Rule” was created outside the normal rulemaking process and allowed union representatives to accompany OSHA inspectors when inspecting non-unionized companies. In light of NFIB’s lawsuit, the Department of Labor issued a new memorandum officially rescinding the Union Walk Around Rule.

“The new Department of Labor memorandum is a clear win for small businesses,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “The 2013 memo gave unions a pathway to intimidate small business owners. Congress never intended that OSHA should open the door to unionization efforts. The Obama administration was on thin legal ground with their order, and we applaud the Trump administration for properly recognizing the rights of small business owners.”

DOL’s new memorandum not only disavows the Union Walk Around Rule, but instructs OSHA officials to revise a field manual used by OSHA inspectors. This comes on the heels of a Federal District Court decision in February denying OSHA’s motion to dismiss NFIB’s case. This decision paved the way for invalidating the Union Walk Around Rule in court. With the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the controversial rule and to eliminate all references within agency manuals and guidance, NFIB has agreed to wind down the suit. Pacific Legal Foundation represented NFIB in this matter.


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