Small Business Seeks to Delay DOL’s New Union Persuader Rule

Date: April 22, 2016

The National Federation of Independent Business asks Federal Court to block rule until proper adjudication

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Klass
(609)713-4243 or

Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2016)The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) asked a U.S. District court today to temporarily block the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new union persuader rule, which is set to go into effect at the end of the month, until a lawsuit challenging the rule’s constitutionality is settled.  Earlier this month, NFIB filed a lawsuit before the same court arguing that the persuader rule violates the First Amendment.

“When facing union organization, small business owners are in need of legal advice,” said NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned. “Labor law is extremely complex. Without legal consultation, a small business owner will not know what rights they have and what they can and cannot discuss with their employees.  The new persuader rule’s onerous reporting requirements will deprive them of their First Amendment right to speak freely on employment issues.”

NFIB joined the National Association of Home Builders, the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Association of Builders, and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce today in filing a motion before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.  The motion requested that the court prevent the implementation or enforcement of the DOL’s new interpretation of the “persuader rule.” The new rule would require all union-related communication, as well as fees and arrangements, between an attorney and an employer to be publicly reported to DOL.  A failure to report could result in criminal penalties for business owners.

The business groups maintain that the rule violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and right of association.  Also, according to the plaintiffs, the rule violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).

“This is just another attempt by the Obama administration to tilt the scales in favor of unionization,” Harned continued.  “We believe that DOL has overstepped its executive authority and that the courts will eventually strike down this new rule.  We hope that the U.S. District Court will suspend any implementation of this rule before a trial has taken place.” 

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