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As we previously blogged, Shawe Rosenthal, on behalf of the Worklaw®Network, a nationwide association of independent labor and employment law firms of which we are a member, filed suit last year against the U.S. Department of Labor to block the DOL’s new interpretation of the advice exemption of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (“LMRDA”), or the “persuader rule.”  And now, on Monday, June 12, 2017, the DOL announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that proposes to rescind that new persuader rule interpretation. 
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auction-gavel-HpmTks-clipartAs 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:
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gavel-1238036DOL’s Attempt to Interfere with Attorney-Client Relationships Blocked by Texas Court

Back in March of this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) tried to interfere with employers’ confidential communications with their attorneys.  Some law firms surrendered, ran, or hid, saying they would no longer have the kinds of conversations DOL wanted to interfere with.  Shawe Rosenthal, along with other Worklaw Network firms, stood up and fought.  We filed a lawsuit against the DOL to protect our clients’ interests and maintain the integrity of the attorney-client relationship.  Two similar lawsuits were filed against the DOL, and in one of them, employers can consider themselves victorious following an Order from a United States District Court in Texas holding the DOL’s new rule unlawful and setting it aside.
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As the Wall Street Journal reported this week, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) highly anticipated rules regarding employees’ eligibility for overtime are not likely to be finalized until sometime in mid to late 2016. This timeline, which is later than the Spring-time anticipated date, was acknowledged by the Department of Labor (DOL) Solicitor, Patricia Smith, during the American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section Conference two weeks ago. I attended the panel at which Solicitor Smith spoke, and counsel for both management and employees were surprised by this revelation.

portraitAs my firm previously reported, in June 2015, the DOL proposed revisions to the overtime rules. The proposed rules significantly increased the required salary for employees to qualify as exempt. The current salary threshold is $23,660. The proposed rules more than double it to $50,400! Clearly, this is a significant increase and would make many more employees eligible for overtime pay.

Solicitor Smith said the reason for the delay in the issuance of the final rules is the significant number of comments that were received by the DOL, which are in excess of 200,000!  This is three times more than the number of comments received by the DOL when it revised the regulations back in 2004.


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