The Department of Labor has proposed rescinding the Obama Administration's changes to the so-called "persuader rule." The proposal is supported by the employer community and opposed by organized labor, and represents another step that the Trump Administration is taking to peel back some of the Obama Administration's labor initiatives.
Last year, the Obama Administration issued an update to the "Persuader Rule," narrowing the rule's so-called "advice exemption." The persuader rule requires employers and the experts they hire to disclose any arrangements where an expert is hired to communicate directly with employees about their decision to unionize. For many years, the rule stipulated that employers do not need to disclose hired experts if the experts never communicated directly with employees, but simply provided "advice" to employers.
The Obama Administration would have narrowed the scope of this "advice exemption" so that far more interactions between employers and hired experts would have triggered disclosure requirements. The Trump Administration's proposal will eliminate this and return to the original, broader advice exemption.
Additionally, the persuader rule was challenged in court. In November 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a permanent injunction against the rule, preventing it from taking effect. The Trump Administration is expected to drop its defense of the rule.
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