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Court Stay Kills ‘Persuader’ Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor’s “persuader” rule was effectively killed by a federal district judge in Texas when he converted a temporary injunction blocking the rule into a permanent injunction.

DOL published its final rule last March that would have required employers to file public annual reports revealing arrangements and payments made to outside attorneys and consultants who advise them on labor issues.

Employer’ also would have had to file reports electronically, which would have been publicly available, including how much they paid for the “labor relations advice and services.”

The DOL rule drew strong and vocal opposition from business associations and the legal community starting from when it was first proposed.

According to the permanent injunction ruling the federal district judge believed the plaintiff in this suit, the National Federation of Independent Business, was likely to prevail in the end.

Given that the political landscape in Washington will change dramatically on January 20, 2017, this makes it almost certain that the new Trump Administration will act to kill the rule.

“There appears little doubt that the March 2016 ‘reinterpretation’ was a political decision, intended by the current administration to aid unions attempting to organize employees,” observed attorney Gregory W. McClune of the law firm of Foley & Lardner.

“We are very pleased that the court agreed with us and struck down an attempt by the DOL to tip the scale in favor of unionization,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center.

“Small business owners today are relieved that they will still have the right to seek legal advice when facing a union election,” she added. “Labor law is extremely complicated, and small business owners rely on the advice of experts to help them navigate through unfamiliar territory.”

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