DOL Rolls Back Obama Era “Persuader” Rule

July 20, 2018

The Labor Department officially rescinded the Obama administration's final persuader rule after asking for additional comments on the rulemaking last year.

The rule would have significantly expanded reporting requirements for employers using outside labor counsel and consultants in union avoidance strategies to include those who merely provide advice rather than being fully engaged in implementing the strategy.  However, it was blocked by a U.S. District Court before going into effect.

According to DOL, the rule relied on an inappropriate reading of the law under any reasonable understanding of the term “advice,” and it impinged on attorney-client privilege by requiring confidential information to be part of disclosures.

A future Democratic administration could make another attempt to increase employer disclosures regarding the use of persuaders.  The issue first emerged during the Clinton administration, with a similar reversal by the Bush administration.