Judge temporarily blocks DOL union 'persuader rule'

Judge temporarily blocks DOL union 'persuader rule'
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A federal judge in Texas has put a temporary hold on the Department of Labor's union “persuader rule.”

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Judge Sam Cummings, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Lubbock Division, issued an 86-page order on Monday granting a preliminary injunction requested by business groups suing the Obama administration.

Under the order, the Labor Department is prohibited from implementing the rule, which forces employers to report any "actions, conduct or communications" undertaken to "affect an employee's decisions regarding his or her representation or collective bargaining rights,” until the case is settled by the courts.

The National Association of Manufacturers, which filed the lawsuit with other groups, argues the rule will prevent employers from speaking on labor issues or seeking legal counsel.

In the order, Cummings said a nationwide injunction is appropriate.

“The chilling of speech protected by the First Amendment is in and of itself an irreparable injury,” Cummings wrote in the order.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called Monday’s order in the case, National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Perez et al, a “victory for the preservation of the sanctity of attorney-client confidentiality.”

“The Obama administration’s repeated attempts to subvert the power of the people and place it into the hands of the Executive Branch suffered another defeat today,” he said in a statement.

“Power still rests with the people, not one man in Washington, and states still retain the authority to regulate practice of law within their own borders.”

--This report was updated at 3:24 p.m.