U.S. Department of Labor seal
U.S. Department of Labor seal

Aug. 11 is the deadline for interested parties to comment on a proposed rule that would rescind the Obama-era “persuader rule” that required employers to publicly report all union-related communication with attorneys.

Comments only are being accepted online.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta previously wrote that the rule, if implemented, “would make it harder for businesses to obtain legal advice.”

The rule required employers to disclose agreements they have entered into with third-party consultants, also known as persuaders, to try to influence the outcome of union-organizing and collective bargaining campaigns. Employers also were required to notify employees when they developed plans for supervisors to influence workers, created anti-union materials and led seminars against forming unions or collective bargaining.

The rule originally was to be effective July 1, 2016, but a federal judge temporarily blocked it from taking effect in June 2016 and then issued a permanent injunction against the rule in November. The reporting requirements that existed before the 2016 rule still are in effect.

In May, Argentum President and CEO James Balda said that his organization supports the rescission, calling the original rule “flawed” because it “discourages employers from seeking counsel regarding labor issues.”

At the time, Argentum said it planned to file comments expressing the group’s support, as would the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. More than 600 organizations belong to the coalition, including Argentum, the National Center for Assisted Living, the American Seniors Housing Association, LeadingAge Colorado and the National Multifamily Housing Council.

The coalition previously had called for nullification of the rule.

More information about the rule and the rescission effort is posted on the Labor Department website.