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DOL Rescinds Union 'Persuader Rule'

Thursday, July 19, 2018

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The U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday (July 16) that it has officially rescinded the Obama-era 2016 Persuader Rule, which was an extension of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.

The regulation required employers and employer consultants to report “indirect persuader activities,” such as what managers were advised to say to employees to counter unionizing efforts.

The rule had received almost immediate pushback, and those opposed argued that it infringed on free speech.

Ed Brown, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday that it has officially rescinded the Obama-era 2016 Persuader Rule, which was an extension of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.

"For decades, the Department enforced an easy-to-understand regulation: Personal interactions with employees done by employers' consultants triggered reporting obligations, but advice between a client and attorney did not," the Office of Policy's Deputy Assistant Secretary Nathan Mehrens remarked.

"By rescinding this Rule, the Department stands up for the rights of Americans to ask a question of their attorney without mandated disclosure to the government."

In November 2016, a federal district judge in Texas blocked the rule from taking effect nationwide, ruling that it was incompatible with the law and client confidentiality. The DOL issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on the rule in June 2017.

Industry groups had also opposed the rule, including the Associated Builders and Contractors, which submitted multiple comments and letters in addition to a lawsuit.

“Associated Builders and Contractors commends the Trump administration for following through on its promise to rescind the persuader rule,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck in an emailed statement.

“The rule would have effectively limited the ability of employers, particularly small businesses, to obtain labor relations advice from attorneys and trade associations like ABC, and in turn deprived employees of their right to obtain balanced information about union representation.”

   

Tagged categories: Department of Labor; Government; Laws and litigation; Regulations; Unions

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