- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has formally rescinded the "persuader rule," according to a notice published in the July 18 Federal Register.
- The regulation, originally enacted by the Obama administration, required employers and employer consultants to report "indirect persuader activities" — for example, recommending what managers should say to employees involved in unionization efforts. The rule was enjoined by a federal district court in November 2016.
- "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," Nathan Mehrens, deputy assistant secretary for DOL's Office of Policy, said in a statement.
News of the persuader rule's demise is not unexpected; the Trump administration has made deregulation a central point of its policy strategy, particularly within the context of employment and labor law. Tuesday's news follows other major decisions including those regarding the fiduciary rule and the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rule.
The decision also represents yet another blow to organized labor, arriving less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31. The court's decision was generally considered a win for employers, limiting how pubic unions can collect dues and potentially boosting some anti-union measures like right-to-work laws.
DOL's latest regulatory move is, likewise, a victory for employers, attorney David J. Pryzbylski writes for National Law Review. Pryzbylski, like Mehrens, noted the persuader rule's impact on attorney-client privilege, cited as one of the arguments against the rule's adoption.