DOL’s New “Union Persuader” Rule May Be Unconstitutional

Earlier this week, a Federal District Court Judge named Sam Cummings placed a temporary hold on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “union persuader” rule due to Constitutional concerns. The new rule would force employers to publically report to the DOL when they receive advice from a lawyer on matters that would “affect an employee’s decisions regarding his or her representation or collective bargaining rights.”

Business owners attempting to stop a union from organizing his or her employees commonly seek legal advice. The DOL’s union persuader rule would undermine that ability by making those communications public. The groups involved in the lawsuit against the DOL, including the National Association of Manufacturers, argue that the new rule would violate the First Amendment free-speech rights of business owners and violate attorney-client privilege.

Federal Judge Cummings agreed writing, “The chilling of speech protected by the First Amendment is in and of itself an irreparable injury.” This temporary hold comes just in the nick of time as the union persuader rule was set to take effect on Friday.

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