Rutledge Disappointed Labor Department Moves Forward with Rule Harming Small Businesses

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March 23, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following the U.S. Department of Labor releasing the final version of the Persuader Advice Exemption Rule, which would force small businesses to disclose communications with outside counsel in labor relations matters.

“I am disappointed in the administration’s action to move forward with a final rule, which would undermine long-standing protections for confidential attorney-client communications,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The administration ignored the concern raised by attorneys generals that the requirements contained in this rule will fall squarely on the backs of Arkansas small businesses, and failure to comply could result in heavy penalties. Rules like this will continue to discourage job growth and hinder economic development. My office will continue to review the final rule.”

The final rule comes after Rutledge and 12 others states sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget voicing opposition to the proposed rule. The attorneys general believed the rule would place undue burdens on small businesses, which would be singled out under the rule.

The attorneys general pointed out that for more than 50 years, the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act has preserved the confidentiality of attorney-client communications by exempting attorney advice relating to labor relations issues from disclosure.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on Nov. 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office.

Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.

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