RELEASE: First-of-its-Kind Scorecard Allows Users To See How Often Union-Busters Violate Federal Reporting Rules

Today, LaborLab released a groundbreaking interactive analysis of the union-busting industry: an LM-20 Scorecard, which brings to light a very serious crisis of transparency and accountability within the union-busting industry.

Under federal law, anti-union “persuaders” are required to disclose certain activities on a form Form LM-20 in a timely manner to the Department of Labor. According to a first-of-its-kind analysis conducted by LaborLab of LM-20 filings since January 1, 2021, over 82% of anti-union persuaders violate the timeliness requirement, giving them an unfair and illegal advantage over workers attempting to form unions. The longer it takes the consultant to file, the more workers remain in the dark about who is making often erroneous and misleading statements about the union.

LaborLab’s LM-20 Scorecard allows users to view the compliance scores of hundreds of prolific anti-union consultants on an individual basis. Considering less than 18% of anti-union persuaders regularly follow federal reporting guidelines, it’s little surprise the majority of these union-busters receive failing grades.

Key takeaways from the LM-20 Scorecard:

  • 81.7% of LM-20s were delinquent in 2021 and 2022;
  • The records belonging to 149 anti-union consultants analyzed by LaborLab found that the vast majority of union-busters receive failing grades in terms of timely filings;
  • More must be done to force union-busters to comply with the law

LaborLab Executive Director Bob Funk released the following statement following the release of the LM-20 Scorecard:

Our nation is facing a crisis when it comes to holding the secretive union-busting industry accountable to the public, workers, and the law. LaborLab’s LM-20 Scorecard makes the lack of compliance by most union-busters accessible to the public, regulatory agencies, and policy makers. 

The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) of 1959 requires the disclosure of arrangements made between anti-union consultants and employers when those anti-union consultants are hired to persuade workers against forming a union. Pursuant to Section 203(b) of the LMRDA, every anti-union consultant must file a detailed report (LM-20) with the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) within 30 days of being engaged by an employer.

By creating a 30-day filing deadline, Congress recognized that for the information reported on the LM-20 to be useful and serve its purpose, employees needed to be informed in a timely manner that their employer had hired union-busting consultants.

In a recent blog by Jeffrey Freund, Director of the Office of Labor-Management Standards, wrote, “The purpose of consultant reporting is to balance the information: to alert workers and unions that there is an outsider ‘working the room’ for the employer, whether directly or indirectly… To be meaningful, then, these consultant Form LM-20 reports must be filed close in time to the organizing activity the consultant is hired to resist – as Congress requires.”

Freund’s analysis is correct and points to an incentive for union-busters to ignore the law: it’s advantageous to them and their clients to keep the details of their anti-union campaigns a secret as long as possible. 

LaborLab is a labor rights research and reporting center. In 2021, LaborLab began tracking anti-union persuader activities throughout the United States and in 2022 started calling on improved transparency rules from the Department of Labor and Office of Labor Management Standards.

LaborLab’s LM-20 Scorecard is hosted in Google Sheets. If you have any issues with access, please email [email protected]