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'Union Persuader' rule overruled by federal judge

The Union Persuader rule required employers to disclose to employees any work they do regarding union organization efforts. The practical effect was to require law firms to disclose their efforts on behalf of their clients, the companies opposing union organization. A federal judge in Texas issued a permanent injunction which essentially nullifies the rule.

The Union Persuader rule was one of a series of regulations passed by the Labor Department to assist labor in their organization efforts. The goals of this regulation were to make it easier for unions to organize, hold elections, and collectively bargain. The government has appealed the ruling to the Fifth Circuit, but it is unlikely to survive once the Trump Administration takes over.

The judge highlight concern that the rule would force attorneys to violate the confidential privilege enjoyed by clients. The judge feared that were no clear lines between "persuader" activities and legal advice from law firms.

The rule also shortened when an election can take place which means that employers were forced to act more quickly to respond to union actions. So the rule had the dual effect of imposing constraints on companies and requiring them to disclose some attorney communications and advice.

If you believe your employer violated your rights, you may want to speak to an attorney. A lawyer can go over the situation and help determine if your rights were violated. You don't need to accept assaults on your rights as a given; you can stand up and demand fair treatment. An attorney can help you.

Source: Forbes, "Judge Permanently Blocks 'Persuader Rule' Requiring Firms To Disclose Labor Advice," Daniel Fisher, November 16, 2016

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