A “Blocking Charge” on the DOL’s Persuader Rule

As of Wednesday, companies are no longer subject to the Department of Labor’s “Persuader Rule” requiring disclosure of legal advice a company receives in response to union organization campaigns.  A court in Texas has permanently blocked the new Persuader Rule.

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued the new Persuader Rule requiring public disclosure of any persuasion of employees concerning their rights to organize and bargain collectively.

The Rule stirred up controversy because it potentially encroached upon First Amendment rights and arguably extended beyond the protections of the attorney-client privilege.

Last year, the National Labor Relations Board implemented its new representation case procedures, more commonly known as the “Quickie Election Rule.”  The Quickie Election Rule, as the name entails, expedites the union election process.

The Persuader Rule coupled with the Quickie Election placed companies in a very tough spot with a limited time to respond at the threat of organizing activity – any union avoidance efforts at that point would be practically futile.   Under the Persuader Rule, almost all efforts to counter a union’s campaign would need to be reported in detail to the Department of Labor.

The Texas Court found the Persuader Rule to be unlawful and blocked it its effect nationwide.

Now, companies can receive union avoidance supervisorial training from its attorneys and conduct other related union avoidance efforts in response to organizing activity, without the need to disclose these activities.