As you may remember, Shawe Rosenthal joined with other law firms in Worklaw® Network in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor to block its implementation of the controversial “persuader rule” in order to protect your right to seek counsel on employment, labor and HR matters with privacy and confidentiality. Here’s a brief recap of the milestones:
- After five years of political debate, the DOL announced in early 2016 its intention to redefine the critical term “advice” in The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, which would have severely hurt your access to critical legal advice without filing extensive disclosure documents regarding the nature and details of those conversations.
- In April, before the July 1 implementation of the new definition, Shawe Rosenthal and Worklaw® Network filed a lawsuit on behalf of employers like you to block the new rule and protect your rights to consult with counsel confidentially. Similar cases were later filed in Texas and Arkansas by other business groups.
- In June, the Federal Judge in Minnesota for the Worklaw® Network lawsuit stated that we “are likely to succeed” in our challenge, while similar cases in Texas and Arkansas continued.
- The Federal Judge in the Texas case granted a preliminary injunction later in the summer, and a few weeks ago declared the rule unlawful and granted a nationwide permanent injunction blocking implementation of the rule.
- On December 7, the Federal Judge in Minnesota issued a “stay” in the Worklaw® Network lawsuit at the request of Worklaw® Network’s attorneys and over U.S. Department of Labor opposition, essentially stopping any further work on the litigation. With Worklaw® Network “likely to succeed” in our lawsuit, the nationwide injunction from the Texas case, and doubts that the new Trump Administration will pursue the “persuader rule” rewrite further, the court agreed that “it would be a waste of judicial resources” to continue.
This has been a long fight, but an important one to protect your rights to the confidential legal advice you need.