'Persuader rule' is rejected

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The Department of Labor has officially revoked a rule that requires employers to report whenever they seek assistance from consultants or lawyers to dissuade employees from joining unions.

The move, which had been in the works for well over a year, was a clear victory for management interests over union organizers.

DOL officials concluded that the measure would infringe on attorney-client privilege by requiring the disclosure of confidential information, a position in line with long-term care officials.

With the rule removed, employers will be required to file reports only when consultants have been in direct communication with employees.

“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,” Deputy Assistant Secretary Nathan Mehrens noted in a statement July 17 finalizing the decision.

It came less than a month after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that was generally considered a win for employers. It limits how public unions can collect dues and potentially boosts some anti-union measures like right-to-work laws.

More than 50 business groups had sued to block the “persuader” rule, which never took effect. In late 2016, a federal judge issued a permanent national injunction.