DOL “Persuader” Final Rule

OVERVIEW

Under the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized a rule designed to eviscerate employers’ rights to free speech, freedom of association and legal counsel. Known as the “persuader” rule, this rule would have had a profound, chilling effect on labor relations advice for employers, and in turn deprived employees of their right to obtain balanced information about union representation.

ABC SUPPORTS

• DOL rescinding the final rule and withdrawing their appeal of the court’s decision.

ABC OPPOSES

• Any current or future policy or regulation that deprives employees of valuable, balanced information regarding the union representation process by obstructing employers’ ability to communicate with them about union organizing.

BACKGROUND

DOL’s final persuader rule would have significantly broadened the reporting requirements for employers, attorneys, trade associations and other third-party advisers under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act by redefining what is meant by labor relations “advice.” Actions that previously were considered to be advice would have been deemed persuader activity—forcing third-party advisers to disclose financial relationships with each of their labor relations clients or face criminal charges. It is essential that employers in the construction industry retain the ability to receive expert counsel, and that employees get all the facts about union representation.

UPDATE


On Nov. 16, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a permanent injunction blocking the final rule. ABC and a coalition of stakeholders filed a lawsuit against the final rule in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, which remains pending.

On June 12, 2017, DOL issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to rescind the persuader rule. On Aug. 11, ABC submitted comments to the DOL in support of its proposal to rescind the rule. ABC has consistently opposed the persuader rulemaking since it was first proposed in 2011.