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WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 16– Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today welcomed news that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas has permanently blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “persuader rule,” officially named the "Interpretation  of  the  ‘Advice’  Exemption  in  Section  203(c)  of  the  Labor-Management  Reporting  and  Disclosure  Act." In finding the rule unlawful, the District Court has maintained employers’ right to obtain advice from labor relations experts.

“Today’s decision is another repudiation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s drastic overreach under the Obama administration,” said ABC Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen. “Associated Builders and Contractors is pleased that the court has ruled to maintain employers’ free speech rights and is hopeful that under a Trump administration, the department will take input from the industries it regulates seriously in developing less burdensome rules that better facilitate the conditions for growth and prosperity.”

ABC and a coalition of stakeholders filed suit challenging the persuader rule March 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. ABC’S Motion for Summary Judgment on the merits of this case is still pending. ABC has opposed the persuader rule since it was first proposed in 2011 and has expressed its concerns through:

    comments submitted to the DOL in September 2011;
    a letter sent to the DOL in February 2014;
    a December 2015 letter to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) from a coalition of business groups, including 29 ABC chapters; and
    a Jan. 13, 2016, meeting with OIRA officials.