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    Rutledge Disappointed Labor Department Moves Forward with Rule Harming Small Businesses

    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.

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