Just days before the Department of Labor’s new union “persuader” rule was to start being enforced, a federal district court on Monday temporarily blocked its implementation until the measure’s constitutionality is settled.
“Because the scope of the irreparable injury is national, and because the DOL’s new rule is facially invalid, the injunction should be nationwide in scope,” stated the court order from Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. His ruling came less than a week after a federal judge in Minnesota refused to stop the rule from being implemented.
The new rule, which was finalized in March and set to be enforced as of July 1, would require employers to publicly report to the DOL all union-related communication with attorneys, as well as information about fees and arrangements. Failure to do so could result in criminal penalties.
Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced efforts to stop the rule from being implemented. The measure has drawn fire from senior living operators and other business groups, which maintain that the rule undermines attorney-client privileges.
Monday’s decision stems from a motion filed by the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Home Builders, the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Association of Builders and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. The groups hold that the rule violates the First Amendment as well as the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and the Regulatory Flexibility Act. They asked for an injunction while their challenge to the rule, filed in March, continues.