Labor Department rescinds union 'persuader rule'

Labor Department rescinds union 'persuader rule'
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The Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded a controversial Obama-era rule that would have forced employers to disclose outside consultants they hire to counter workers' union organizing efforts.

The Labor Department finalized its decision to rescind the rule after issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking in June 2017 to withdraw it.

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“For decades, the Department enforced an easy-to-understand regulation: Personal interactions with employees done by employers’ consultants triggered reporting obligations, but advice between a client and attorney did not,” the Office of Policy’s deputy assistant secretary, Nathan Mehrens, said in a statement.

“By rescinding this Rule, the Department stands up for the rights of Americans to ask a question of their attorney without mandated disclosure to the government.”

A federal district judge in Texas blocked the persuader rule from taking effect nationwide in November 2016, ruling it was incompatible with the law and client confidentiality.

The court's decision marked a win for the National Federation of Independent Business, which challenged the rule, arguing it violated employers’ First Amendment rights to free speech and would prevent employers from seeking legal counsel.