Don’t Mess With Texas: Lubbock District Court Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Blocking DOL’s Changes to the “Persuader” Rule
Employers and trade associations breathed a collective sigh of relief today after Lubbock District Court Judge Sam R. Cummings entered a nationwide injunction preventing the DOL from enforcing its changes to the “persuader” rule. As previously reported by HR Legalist, the Department of Labor recently published a controversial final rule requiring employers and their attorneys (and/or advisors/consultants) to file public reports disclosing their relationship and fee agreements relating to “persuader” activity. “Persuader” activity is defined as advice or counseling for the purpose of persuading employees with respect to union organizing or collective bargaining. The final rule would have applied to all relationships and fee agreements entered into after July 1, 2016.
Judge Cummings’ ruling comes just one week after a Minnesota District Court Judge concluded that the implementation of the new rule would not result in irreparable harm to employers. In his opinion, Judge Cummings stated that the new rule impaired employers’ ability to obtain legal advice and likely violates their rights to free speech and freedom of association under the First Amendment.
The DOL may appeal Judge Cummings’ injunction ruling to the Fifth Circuit. As always, HR Legalist urges our readers to consult legal counsel if you have any questions about the final rule.