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                                                                For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 8 – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today issued the following statement in support of a letter sent to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator Howard Shelanski by 13 state attorneys general opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed Persuader Advice Exemption Rule (“persuader rule”).

“Associated Builders and Contractors applauds the growing movement calling for the rejection of the Department of Labor’s flawed and unnecessarily arduous proposed persuader rule,” said ABC Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen. “As proposed, the persuader rule would greatly limit the ability of employers to obtain advice from labor relations experts by narrowing the longstanding ‘advice’ exemption. The proposal will have a particularly onerous impact on small businesses, most of which do not employ in-house counsel, and will greatly limit the ability of employees to obtain balanced information about union representation.”

In the letter the attorneys general argued, “The new rule would cause particular harm to small business in our states. The reporting requirement applies specifically to outside consultants. Because many large corporations employ in-house counsels, they will have access to legal advice on labor matters, free of the disclosure concerns raised by the new rule. Small businesses, by their very nature, are less likely to employ an in-house counsel. The burden of this new rule will fall chiefly on them, with heavy penalties if they fail to comply.”

The letter was signed by attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.

ABC has opposed the persuader rule since it was first proposed in 2011 and has expressed its concerns through:
  • Comments submitted to DOL in September 2011
  • A letter sent to DOL in February 2014
  • A December 2015 letter to OIRA from a coalition of business groups including 29 ABC chapters
  • A Jan. 13, 2016 meeting with OIRA officials