Federal Court Upholds Employers' Right to Seek Legal Counsel in Labor Disputes

Date: November 16, 2016 Last Edit: November 17, 2016

Contact: Kelly Klass at 609-713-4243

Judge deems DOL rule requiring disclosure of any communication with legal counsel in preparation for union elections unlawful

Washington, D.C. (November 16, 2016) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issued the following statement from the Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned in response to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas’ decision to grant NFIB’s motion for summary judgment and to block permanently the Department of Labor’s persuader rule:

business owners today are relieved that they will still have the right to seek legal
advice when facing a union election. Labor law is extremely complicated, and
small business owners rely on the advice of experts to help them navigate through
unfamiliar territory.” 

are very pleased that the court agreed with us today, and struck down an
attempt by the DOL to tip the scale in favor of unionization.” 

NFIB joined the National Association of Home Builders, the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Association of Builders, and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce in filing a lawsuit against the DOL’s persuader rule. The rule would have required all union-related communication, as well as fees and arrangements, between an attorney and an employer to be publicly reported to DOL. 

The business groups argued that the rule violated the First Amendment, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).


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