Gov. Matt Bevin joined with a 17-state coalition, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, to urge the U.S. Department of Labor to rescind the Obama-era Persuader Rule. This regulation threatened to increase legal costs for businesses and undermine the longstanding and vital attorney-client privilege.
In a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, the group concludes: “Given that the Persuader Rule has the effect of regulating a traditionally state-regulated domain, and that Congress has made no such indication, the Department should rescind the rule.”
Last November, Attorney General Paxton won a permanent, nationwide injunction against the Persuader Rule, when a federal judge ruled that it was unlawful and would have required attorneys to publicly disclose confidential information protected by attorney-client privilege. In December, a Texas-led 10-state coalition won a final judgment in the case.
The Obama administration’s reinterpretation of the Persuader Rule upended five decades of established federal labor policy and would have made it more difficult and expensive for small businesses to obtain legal advice. Attorney General Paxton’s lawsuit kept the Department from enforcing the new rule.
The Department’s proposal to rescind the Persuader Rule requires a 60-day public comment period—which ends on August 11—before the Department can take final action.
Joining Gov. Bevin and Attorney General Paxton in the letter is the governor of Mississippi, as well as the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
A copy of the letter can be downloaded here.