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Update On Worklaw® Network And KZA's Persuader Lawsuit Against DOL

Volume 15, Issue 13
June 24, 2016

Earlier this year, KZA joined in a nationwide lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to protect your right to seek counsel on labor, employment, and HR matters with privacy and confidentiality. Click here for a summary of this lawsuit. We are pleased to announce that earlier this week, a Federal Judge stated we "are likely to succeed" in our challenge, which is a big step toward a major victory for us all.

As Background . . .

In March, and after a multi-year controversy, the DOL issued a "reinterpretation" of a 1950s regulation under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) called the "persuader rule" which requires both employers and their consultants to file disclosures of their arrangements, expenditures and activities related to persuading employees as to their collective bargaining rights. Under the DOL's new persuader rule, the previously recognized exception for advice given to employers by labor consultants and attorneys was eviscerated.

Unless stopped, the DOL's reinterpretation will burden American businesses like yours with broad public disclosure and paperwork requirements concerning labor relations advice, undermining attorney-client confidentiality and privilege protections.

In April, KZA partnered with other Worklaw® Network member firms across the nation in filing a lawsuit against the DOL to block implementation of the agency's reinterpretation, before it went into full effect on July 1. Several state attorneys general filed a brief in support of the Worklaw® lawsuit, as did key national business groups.

In a June 22, 2016 ruling, Judge Patrick J. Schiltz criticized the rule's "incoherence" and its "flawed premise." Although declining to issue a temporary restraining order in the matter, the judge concluded that the "plaintiffs have a strong likelihood of success on their claim that the new rule conflicts with the plain language of the statute."

The judge's observations are a positive step toward securing a victory for employers across America, small and large, in one of three separate lawsuits challenging the DOL's controversial reinterpretation of the LMRDA's reporting requirements which have been in effect for more than 50 years. However, the DOL's new interpretation is set to go into full effect on Friday, July 1, 2016 unless immediate injunctive relief is granted in one of the other lawsuits.

Closing

Our lawsuit seeks to protect your right to seek counsel and obtain legal advice on sensitive and complicated labor matters confidentially and within the necessary protections of the attorney-client privilege. We will continue to keep you apprised of the developments surrounding this issue. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any questions regarding the DOL's new persuader rule or any other matter.

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.