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Update On The Battle Against DOL's New Persuader Rule

Volume 15, Issue 28
December 28, 2016

We are pleased to provide an update on our lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor to block its implementation of the controversial "persuader rule." As you may remember, KZA joined with other law firms in Worklaw® Network in a lawsuit against the U.S. Government to protect employers' right to seek counsel on employment, labor and HR matters with privacy and confidentiality. Here's a brief recap of the milestones:

  • After five years of political debate, the DOL announced in early 2016 its intention to redefine the critical term "advice" in The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which would have severely hurt employers' access to critical legal advice without filing extensive disclosure documents regarding the nature and details of those conversations.

  • In April, before the July 1 implementation of the new definition, KZA and Worklaw® Network filed a lawsuit to block the new rule and protect employers' rights to consult with counsel confidentially. Other business groups later filed similar cases in Texas and Arkansas.

  • In June, the federal judge in Minnesota for the Worklaw® Network lawsuit stated that we "are likely to succeed" in our challenge, while similar cases in Texas and Arkansas continued.

  • The federal judge in the Texas case granted a preliminary injunction later in the summer, and a few weeks ago declared the rule unlawful and granted a nationwide permanent injunction blocking implementation of the rule.

  • On December 7, the federal judge in Minnesota issued a "stay" in the Worklaw® Network lawsuit at the request of Worklaw® Network's attorneys and over U.S. Department of Labor opposition, essentially stopping any further work on the litigation. With Worklaw® Network "likely to succeed" in our lawsuit, the nationwide injunction from the Texas case, and doubts that the new Trump Administration will pursue the "persuader rule" rewrite further, the court agreed that "it would be a waste of judicial resources" to continue.

This has been a long fight, but an important one to protect employers' rights to confidential legal advice. If you have questions about this persuader rule or the lawsuit, please contact a KZA attorney.

Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.