Last week, we reported on the publication of the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Persuader Rule.” As we predicted, there has been a legal challenge to the rule. A coalition of business groups and a law firm have filed suit in federal court yesterday challenging the constitutionality of the final version of the rule. The National Association of Manufacturers, other industry groups and an Arkansas-based law firm also argue the rule infringes on attorney-client privilege. The rule requires an employer to report the identity, scope of work and fees paid to outside consultants who work with employers to directly or indirectly persuade employees to engage in or refrain from union organizing. It exempts from disclosure, however, services that simply constitute advice to the employer. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, asks the court for a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the rule from taking effect on April 25 while the case makes its way through the court. Ultimately, plaintiffs are seeking declaratory judgment that the rule is invalid.
The case is Associated Builders and Contractors of Arkansas et al v. Thomas E. Perez, et al., Case No. 4:16-cv-00169-KGB.