A federal judge in Texas has converted his temporary injunction to a permanent one, blocking the Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing its so-called “Persuader Rule,” which would have forced employers to reveal the identities and advice of those assisting them in union organization fights.
Senior U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Cummings first placed an injunction on the rule in July, and after holding hearings in the intervening months, yesterday made the injunction final. Critics had assailed the rule as a violation of employers’ First Amendment rights, and employers and trade groups had filed suit challenging the DOL’s new standard.
“The court is of the opinion that the Department of Labor’s [rule] … should be held unlawful and set aside,” Cummings said. “The court’s preliminary injunction preventing the implementation of that rule should be converted into a permanent injunction with nationwide effect.”
The rule would’ve turned on its head long-observed practices and procedures during organizing efforts.
“DOL replaced a long-standing and early understandable bright-line rule with one that is vague and impossible to apply,” Cummings ruled in July. “There is substantial risk that associations, employers, and consultants, including attorneys, will not be able to determine with reasonable certainty whether their actions require reporting.”
The DOL had no immediate comment.