Texas Judge Halts DOL’s Persuader Rule
Today, a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary nationwide injunction blocking the Department of Labor's ("DOL") implementation and enforcement of its Persuader Rule, which was scheduled to begin applying to agreements for labor consulting and advice work on July 1, 2016. (See our prior posts here and here for more information.) The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the National Federation of Independent Business ("NFIB"), challenging the legality of the Persuader Rule on several grounds. The judge today found that the NFIB had demonstrated a substantial likelihood of prevailing in the lawsuit and that irreparable harm would result if the Rule was not enjoined pending resolution of the lawsuit.
Today's ruling means that the Persuader Rule's new reporting obligations will not be triggered beginning July 1 for advice work and other indirect persuasive activity by labor consultants and attorneys retained by employers to assist them in responding to union organizing or collective bargaining issues. The ruling applies nationally, not just in Texas, and will be remain valid unless and until overturned by an appellate court or by further order of the same court that issued the ruling. For now, this is a temporary reprieve from the rule, but not yet a permanent end. Stay tuned for further developments.