AFL-CIO Files Suit to Block LM-30 Reporting Changes

February 7, 2008 ( - The AFL-CIO has filed a lawsuit to block federal regulators from requiring unions to disclose more information about officer and employee financial transactions.

The Washington Times reports that the labor organization, which represents 55 unions and 10.5 million members, said new LM-30 reporting rules by the Department of Labor “should be held unlawful and set aside,” in a lawsuit recently filed against Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao. The lawsuit claims Chao does not have the authority to enact the regulations.

In a statement on the AFL-CIO’s Web site, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York) said: “Under the new rules, tens of thousands of union members will be forced, without justification, to navigate a bureaucratic maze of financial-disclosure forms and meet onerous reporting requirements about information as private as their personal mortgages and loans,” according to the newspaper.

When it issued the new rules last July, the DoL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) said the first major amendments to the LM-30 form in more than four decades are meant to make it easier to comply with disclosure laws as well as to promote union transparency (See DoL Puts Out Final LM-30 Union Reporting Rule ).

New LM-30 forms are designed to facilitate reporting of payments or benefits received from, and certain financial interests in, employers and businesses with which their union collectively bargains or could collectively bargain. The requirement also applies to entities with which the officials and employees do business as a customer. Those covered by the reporting requirements also must include relevant payments or benefits received by their spouses or minor children