DoL Puts Out Final LM-30 Union Reporting Rule

July 3, 2007 ( - Nearly two years after proposing to update a union financial disclosure form and after getting hit with more than 1,000 public comments, the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has released the final rule governing form LM-30.

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. The latest DoL release is the final version of the preliminary proposal OLMS issued in August 2005 (See  DoL Issues Notice of Form LM-30 Changes ).

The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act mandates union officials and employees file the forms with the Labor Department. The documents 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.

According to the final release, the new rule takes effect August 16 and applies prospectively. Union officers and employees don’t have to rely on the revised LM-30 form for fiscal years starting before that date.

Features in the final rule include:

  • a provision that unions are not required to notify their officials of the obligation to file LM-30 forms if they engage in covered transactions. DoL decided against such a rule based on the public comments received and what OLMS described as a recent “large upsurge” in LM-30 filings compared to historical levels.
  • an expansion of the proposed figure of $25 or less governing payments that don’t have to be reported. The final figure calls for payments of $250 or less during the course of a 12-month period from one source not to be reported and indicates that individual payments of $20 or less do not count in calculating such annual payments.
  • a mandate that directors’ fees and reimbursed expenses for a union officer who sits on an employer’s board of directors must be reported, as must gifts to a union officer or employee from a business that competes with the union-represented employer.

The final LM-30 rule requires a union official with an international or national labor organization to report payments or financial transactions with employers or business entities connected to subordinate local unions as well as those connected to the national or international.

The rule changed a “regular course of business” reporting exception to make sure that union officers and employers report stock holdings in a covered employer or business, transactions in such holdings, loans to or from such an entity, and income or any other benefit with monetary value received from such an entity.

Originally, DoL officials had considered dropping a reporting exemption for “bona fide loans, interest, or dividends” from a bank, insurance company, or other financial institutions. In the final rule, however, OLMS settled on keeping the exception but making it more specific. The exception will not apply to banks or other financial institutions that “constitute a ‘trust in which your labor organization is interested,’ ” it said.

The DoL document can be obtained through the Federal Register Web site at .