Feds Move to Scrap Obama-Era ‘Persuader Rule’

Posted June 16, 2017 at 11:23 am

The Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Statistics’ recently issued a new notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to rescind the Obama administration’s persuader rule. The public will have 60 days to provide input, with comments due by Aug. 11.  TRSA will provide comments.

The persuader rule made significant changes to the reporting and disclosure requirements for employers, attorneys and other experts under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. The rule drastically limited the “advice” exemption, in which employers and the experts they hire were exempt from the reporting requirements if the experts did not directly communicate with employees, essentially only providing legal advice to the employer on labor relations and the intricate laws governing those interactions. The changes provided no benefit to employees but made it very difficult for attorneys to maintain client confidentiality and small businesses to obtain confidential and critical legal counsel on labor relations matters. The rule was designed to silence employers and was unfair and unlawful.

Additionally, the persuader rule was challenged in court. In November 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a permanent injunction against the rule, preventing it from taking effect. The Trump administration is expected to drop its defense of the rule. For additional information on the rule, click here and here.