Federal Court Issues Injunction to Temporarily Block DOL

Federal Court Issues Injunction to Temporarily Block DOL "Persuader" Rule

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Federal Court Issues Injunction to Temporarily Block DOL "Persuader" Rule

July 1, 2016

On June 27, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction which blocks implementation of the Department of Labor's "persuader" rule. The rule would require that employers disclose any "actions, conduct or communications" that would "affect an employee's decisions regarding his or her representation or collective bargaining rights." Prior to the rule, disclosure was necessary for a more limited set of communications, such as a document prepared by an outside firm or organization. The rule would expand the reporting requirement to include any communication between an employer and a third-party, including oral communication. Industry groups have argued that this rule has a chilling effect on the ability of employers to seek legal counsel, as well as be in violation of both first amendment free speech rights and attorney-client privilege. (For more background, see WICs article, "DOL Finalizes Union "Persuader" Rule," March 28, 2016.)

The rule was set to go into effect on July 1, 2016, but the injunction issued by the court places a temporary block on implementation nationwide. “The chilling of speech protected by the First Amendment is in and of itself an irreparable injury,” Judge Cummings wrote in the order. The text of the order is available here.
 
Source: The Hill