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

Volume 15, Issue 7
May 10, 2016

As you may remember, KZA has joined Worklaw® Network in filing a lawsuit seeking to stop the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new "persuader rule". We write to update you on this issue.

First, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America has filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief in favor of the lawsuit. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents "300,000 direct members and indirectly represents the interests of more than three million companies and professional organizations of every size, in every industry sector, from every region of the country." The U.S. Chamber argues that the DOL's new persuader rule improperly "imposes stringent disclosure obligations on attorneys, law firms, and consultants" providing advice to their employer clients and "raises serious constitutional questions regarding employers' statutory and constitutional right to seek advice on how to communicate with their employees." The Chamber argues that the rule "will chill the free exchange of ideas between employers and employees and will impose substantial compliance costs as employers and their attorneys are forced to grapple with DOL's incoherent new guidelines." Moreover, "the DOL's new interpretation of the advice exemption in the LMRDA-if allowed to take effect-threatens to expose thousands of lawyers, law firms, and companies to potential criminal liability for failure to abide by an exceedingly vague interpretation of the LMRDA". If you would like to read the Chamber's brief in full, please use this link.

An amicus brief has also been filed by the States of Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. You can access that brief by using this link.

Finally, the DOL's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) has issued a "special enforcement policy" that immediately suspends "until further notice" certain portions of the reporting requirements. If your company is required to file forms LM-20 or LM-21, visit the DOL's website for specific details on this new enforcement policy. If you have questions about the special enforcement policy, please contact a KZA attorney.

KZA 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.