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Persuader Rule Is DOL Target

Now that the Trump Department of Labor finally has a new Secretary in place, it has begun to act on some of the items of concern to employers.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has formally initiated the process for rescinding the controversial 2016 DOL regulations aimed at expanding the information employers must publicly report about outside advice on labor matters.

After the final rule was issued a federal judge in Texas granted an injunction blocking it before it could go into effect on July 1 last year.

The rule requires companies to file annual reports with DOL revealing any arrangements and payments they make with outside consultants who supply advice on dealing with unions and organizing campaigns.

Under the rule, the reports would be filed electronically and would be publicly available. That would include how much they paid for all of the “labor relations advice and services” they received.

Before the new rule, employers were only required to report on outside firms who communicated directly with workers on the employer’s behalf, not for other outside advice on labor relations.

As it was written, the rule was seen covering even seminars and workshops on labor issues that are held by industry associations.

Employer groups and attorneys attacked the rule for violating their First Amendment rights and their ability to maintain attorney-client confidentiality.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta filed the notice of DOL’s intention to rescind the rule on May 22, the same day an op-ed under his name appeared in the Wall Street Journal about a different rule, entitled “Deregulators Must Follow the Law, So Regulators Will Too.”

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