Update on Revised Form LM-21 Special Enforcement Policy Issued by OLMS

On April 4, 2024, OLMS effectively reissued its Form LM-21 “Special Enforcement Policy” allowing LM-21 filers to not face OLMS enforcement action if they do not provide information in Parts B and C of that form which itemize persuader receipts and disbursements for the year. If the Special Enforcement Policy on Form LM-21 had been rescinded, persuaders would have to reveal all receipts and disbursements for the fiscal year, which would have been an important step towards shedding light on the union-busting industry.

However, there may be one consolation in this recent policy document, which takes effect in 90 days and that is the addition of the following phrase to OLMS’ policy: “So long as this special enforcement policy is in place, a Form LM-21 that includes only the information requested by Parts B and C as described above will be deemed complete.”

In other words, if an LM-21 filer doesn’t include any information on their receipts or disbursements for the filing year, they won’t face OLMS enforcement, but their LM-21 will be considered “incomplete” by OLMS. Only those LM-21s which do include the persuaders receipts and disbursements information will be considered “complete”. Even though this change will obviously not apply to those 2023 LM-21s now being filed, from this point onward, LaborLab will use the term “incomplete” for those LM-21s that do not contain persuader receipts and disbursements information.

Next month, LaborLab will issue its quarterly update of persuaders who owe an LM-21 for 2022 but who haven’t filed one, as well as employers who owe an LM-10 for 2022 but haven’t filed one. In February, (include link), we reported that nearly 40% of those employers who owed an LM-10 for 2022 still hadn’t filed one and a similar percentage for LM-21 filers. What triggers the requirement to file an LM-21 and LM-10 is the filing of an LM-20 Persuader Agreement report which is filed 30 days after the employer and the persuader enter into a reportable persuader arrangement or agreement.

If 2022 is any indication, 40% of persuaders don’t even bother to file an LM-21, which is a serious problem. Of the remainder who actually do, about half of them exercise the Special Enforcement Policy and don’t report their receipts or disbursements, but the other half does. That means that for this period, about half of persuaders file “complete” LM-21s and the other half are not; but let’s not forget those who aren’t filing at all.

Meanwhile, it’s still possible to learn how much persuaders are being paid from the LM-10 form (once again, many employers haven’t filed them). But when they do, they must itemize payments to persuaders by dates. Keep in mind that many persuaders subcontract their persuader work, and these subcontractors are not itemized in the LM-10. However, when a persuader hires a subcontractor, they must report payments to each subcontractor by employer payment in Part D of their LM-21. And, more importantly, Part D has not been suspended by the Special Enforcement Policy.

Meanwhile, the best way to research payments to persuaders is to use the “Advanced Search by Employer or Consultant Name” on the OLMS Public Disclosure website. Simply type in the name of the persuader and not only will the LM-20s and LM-21s that have been filed show up, but so will the LM-10s.

And as always, if you have questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact LaborLab. We’re here to help.