The Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial “Persuader Rule” is off the table—at least for now. U.S. District Judge Cummings in the Northern District of Texas granted summary judgment to 10 states, including Texas, and numerous business trade groups, and barred the DOL from enforcing the rule that would have required an employer to inform the DOL when it hired a consultant to combat unionization of employees. In National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Perez et al., Judge Cummings found the DOL’s rule, which was finalized this March, to be unlawful.
The persuader advice exemption rule would have expanded the definition of “advice exemption” under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, to encompass oral and written recommendations. The rule would have given employees information about the third-party labor relations consultants used by their employers.
Prior to this new rule, employers had to provide information about such consultants only when the consultants made direct contact with employees.
According to the DOL, the Persuader Final Rule would allow workers to better assess arguments being made, explaining, “
In June, Judge Cummings granted a preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of the rule, finding that the DOL’s passing of the rule likely exceeded the agency’s authority. The DOL appealed the preliminary injunction to the Fifth Circuit (where it is pending). In yesterday’s ruling, Judge Cummings made that preliminary injunction into a permanent one, stating, “The court’s preliminary injunction preventing the implementation of the rule should be converted into a permanent injunction with nationwide effect.”
According to Judge Cummings, the DOL’s rule is unlawful, so he set it aside. Judge Cummings’ ruling is good news for employers and protects employers’ hiring of consultants during organizing campaigns.