- The Department of Labor has proposed rescinding the Obama-era "persuader" rule addition to the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), according to The Washington Post.
- The rule, which a Texas judge blocked in November, requires that employers disclose the content of previously protected communications with third parties — even if normally protected by attorney-client privilege — regarding employee unionization efforts.
- The DOL, now headed up by President Donald Trump appointee Alexander Acosta, said that it was moving to revoke the regulation because of ongoing court battles, the need to further study its effect on businesses and the lack of enforcement resources.
Construction industry organizations like the Associated Builders and Contractors were vocal opponents of the rule, arguing that it would keep contractors and other employers from requesting legal advice about their rights during unionization efforts.
The November ruling, which permanently blocked implementation, was in response to an earlier Texas court decision to issue a temporary injunction against the regulation. In that case, U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings raised the possibility that the persuader rule was a violation of the First Amendment.
The DOL has been actively making changes under the new administration. Just last week, it withdrew a policy guidance implemented under former President Barack Obama that held companies to a stricter interpretation of what constitutes an independent contractor relationship. The informal guidance, which industry groups argued unfairly broadened the definition of joint employment, was intended to cut down on cases of worker misclassification and make it easier for hiring companies to be held responsible for the actions of independent contractors over which they had even indirect control.
The Trump administration has also presided over changes in Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, which the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations' (AFL-CIO) said is jeopardizing the safety of U.S. workers. Thus far, Trump's policies on regulatory review have led to the repeal of the Volks rule, which broadened OSHA's recordkeeping enforcement ability, and the delay of implementation of a new silica rule to September.