Right to Work Alum Tapped for DOL Union-Auditing Office

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By Ben Penn and Josh Eidelson

The Trump administration has started staffing up its labor union oversight office by hiring an adviser who cut his teeth with an organization whose stated mission is “combatting the evils of compulsory unionism.”

Geoffrey MacLeay, a former attorney at the National Right to Work Foundation, will serve as policy adviser for the Office of Labor-Management Standards, a Labor Department spokesman confirmed to Bloomberg Law. MacLeay was most recently a professional staff member for Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, where he participated in oversight requests calling for stricter OLMS scrutiny of worker organizing centers.

MacLeay is the second known politically appointed official at the OLMS since President Donald Trump took office. Last month, the agency appointed Arthur Rosenfeld, a former National Labor Relations Board general counsel, as its director. The office enforces a federal law requiring labor organizations, including international and local unions, to file annual financial reports detailing how membership dues are spent.

His move to OLMS may signal an effort by the administration to appease concerns by some conservatives that Rosenfeld wouldn’t be tough enough on the labor movement. The National Right to Work Foundation and White House labor policy adviser James Sherk are said to have called for an OLMS leader who would be more likely to revise the agency’s interpretation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act to start requiring worker centers to file detailed spending disclosures.

As recently as June 28, MacLeay is listed as the point of contact for Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C. ) in a letter encouraging Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to provide a new test to expand the coverage of that law. Continuing the committee Republicans’ long-standing focus, Foxx argues that worker centers—such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and affiliates of Fight for $15—engage in organizing activity that should bring them within the legal definition of “labor organization” under the LMRDA.

The NRTW didn’t provide a comment for this story. MacLeay is a 2007 graduate of Emory University Law School, according to the foundation’s 2011 press release announcing his hiring at the foundation.

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