Small Business Gets a Big Break Through the Elimination of the ‘Persuader Rule’

Date: November 18, 2016

A federal court judge struck down the Obama administration’s “persuader rule,” creating one less obstacle for small businesses.

Small businesses just earned a big win.

Judge Sam Cummings, a federal court judge in Texas, issued an order to block the Department of Labor’s “persuader rule,” The Wall Street Journal reports. This rule requires “law firms to publicly disclose any work they do for employers surrounding union organization efforts,” according to Forbes

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In other words, Cummings effectively granted NFIB’s motion for permanent injunction, and employers can breathe easy. 

“Small business owners today are relieved that they will still have the right to seek legal advice when facing a union election,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Labor law is extremely complicated, and small business owners rely on the advice of experts to help them navigate through unfamiliar territory.” 

NFIB is “glad to see the rule struck down,” and “hope[s] to see other workplace rules shot down under the Trump administration, including the overtime rule,” according to The Wall Street Journal

“I think they were out on a limb here,” said NFIB Senior Legal Counsel Luke Wake in regards to the Labor Department rule. 

Opponents of the rule, including NFIB and the National Association of Manufacturers, sued, “arguing that it violated employers’ First Amendment rights to free speech and will prevent employers from seeking legal counsel,” The Hill reports. 

And there may still be more good news ahead. Judge Amos Mazzant, also in the Texas federal court, will make a decision in the coming days on whether or not to delay implementation of the Labor Department’s separate and controversial overtime rule, Politico reports. 

The rule raises the pay threshold for those who qualify for overtime from $23,660 to $47,476 a year, and would guarantee overtime pay at time-and-a-half for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a one-week period, according to NFIB. Back in September, 21 states and a coalition of more than 50 business groups filed separate lawsuits seeking to overturn the rule. 

Harned is confident in NFIB’s arguments against the regulation. “Hopefully we’ll see more in the tea leaves tomorrow after hearing from [Judge Mazzant].” 

Related: 

A New Report Sheds Light on Workplace Injury and Illness Statistics 

Small Business Owners Brace for Impact As New Overtime Rule Set to Take Effect 

New Minimum Wage Worries Extend from Coast to Coast

Related Content: Analysis | Labor | National | Regulations

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