Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor drove a stake into the heart of the Obama administration’s so-called “persuader” rule. This rule interpreted federal labor law to require employers to disclose their use of legal counsel, consultants, or other advisers in response to employee organizing efforts, even when the consultants never have any direct contact with workers. Employers believed that this rule would interfere with their ability to obtain legal and other counsel when responding to unionization efforts.
A federal district court sided with employers that challenged the rule based on constitutional and statutory grounds, issuing a permanent injunction against its enforcement. When the Trump administration took office, it asked for a stay of the pending appeal in order to determine whether it should be reconsidered. The rescission notice issued by DOL should make the appeal moot, ending remaining uncertainty over the rule. If the current injunction remains in place, it could prevent future administrations from attempting to resurrect the rule.