News Releases

    Rutledge Continues Effort to Fight Labor Department’s Persuader Rule

    August 18, 2017

    Nationwide injunction in place; DOL should fully rescind

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is urging the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to rescind the Obama-era’s Persuader Advice Exemption Rule. The rule, which is enjoined nationwide because of a 10-state coalition’s lawsuit, led by Rutledge and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, would force disclosure of confidential information, communication and relationships between small businesses and their outside counsel in labor relations matters, has been found unlawful.

    “The previous administration was posturing to its political base instead of protecting small businesses when it altered the Persuader Rule,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This rule was about giving union-side attorneys an unfair advantage in litigation and nothing else. I am urging the department to follow the law, respect more than 50 years of legal precedent and fully rescind the Persuader Rule.”

    The Obama administration’s reinterpretation of the Persuader Rule upended five decades of established federal labor policy and would have made it more difficult and expensive for small businesses to obtain legal advice. Rutledge’s lawsuit kept the Department from enforcing the new rule.

    DOL’s proposal to rescind the Persuader Rule requires a 60-day public comment period before the Department can take final action. “Given that the Persuader Rule has the effect of regulating a traditionally state-regulated domain, and that Congress has made no such indication, the Department should rescind the rule,” the 17-state letter writes.

    Led by the Texas Attorney General, Rutledge is joined on the letter by the Governors of Kentucky and Mississippi, as well as the attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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