OLMS rescinds Trump administration rule that unjustly burdened unions

The Office of Labor-Management Standards has rescinded a Trump-administration rule that imposed unjustified and burdensome paperwork requirements on labor unions.

According to the U.S. Labor Department under the Biden administration, the Form T-1 Trust Annual Report was redundant to existing filing requirements, such as Internal Revenue Service reporting, and thus unnecessary to detecting or deterring wrongdoing or preventing the circumvention or evasion of reporting requirements under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. 

A Labor Department statement reads: “The rule ignored that the vast majority of union officers and employees do their work diligently and without incident, and that when civil and criminal violations do occur – and a union and its members are thereby victimized – OLMS already has an array of means to, and an established record of, bringing such wrongdoers to justice.” 

The rule establishing Form T-1 was published on March 6, 2020. It required labor unions with $250,000 or more in total annual receipts and which file the Form LM-2 annual union financial disclosure report to file this separate report covering the finances of certain trusts such as apprenticeship and training plans, labor-management cooperation committees, strike funds, and building corporations.

On March 29, 2021, OLMS announced it would not enforce the final rule until one year after the date a labor organization’s first Form T-1 was due. On May 27, 2021, OLMS proposed to rescind Form T-1. OLMS reviewed comments and determined Form T-1 would not provide additional information necessary for OLMS to track labor organization fraud. Even without Form T-1, existing filing through agencies such as the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and the IRS provide the public with needed disclosures. 

Union members will continue to receive detailed information about their union’s finances, including the identity and contact information of the union’s trusts, through the annual Form LM-2 report available in the OLMS Public Disclosure Room.