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Trump Protects Attorney-Client Privilege

By rescinding an Obama-era labor rule, Trump protects privacy rights against union interference.

President Donald Trump has been nullifying his predecessor’s so-called achievements at a staggering rate, and a recent Department of Labor rule change is the latest way that Trump is erasing Barack Obama’s legacy.

The 2016 Persuader Rule was one of the final crowning achievements of the Obama regime, even though he had to overstep the lawful authority allowed in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) to enact it. This Obama-era rule struck at the heart of attorney-client privilege to prop up the unions that commonly fund Democratic Party politicians.

The rule required confidential information to be transmitted to federal regulators. Employers and their “labor relations consultants” would have to report to the feds any time they talked to an employee about collective bargaining in a manner that could be perceived as persuasive. This even applied to ordinary workers if they talked about collective bargaining rights with their personal attorneys.

“For decades, the Department enforced an easy-to-understand regulation: Personal interactions with employees done by employers’ consultants triggered reporting obligations, but advice between a client and attorney did not,” the Office of Policy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Nathan Mehrens remarked. “By rescinding this Rule, the Department stands up for the rights of Americans to ask a question of their attorney without mandated disclosure to the government.”

The American Bar Association (ABA) spoke out strongly against the rule-change shortly after it was mandated by the Obama administration.

“The 2016 rule would have required lawyers who provide both legal advice to employer clients and engage in any persuader activities to file periodic disclosure reports even if they have no direct contact with the employees. These reports would have included disclosure of a substantial amount of confidential information, including the existence of the lawyer-client relationship and the identity of the client, the general nature of the legal representation, and a description of the legal tasks performed. The reports also could have compelled disclosure of a great deal of confidential financial information about clients that is unrelated to persuader activities that the LMRDA is intended to monitor,” the ABA wrote in the Aug. 2017 edition of their Washington Letter.

Because of President Trump, another Obama-era power grab is off the books. Unions will no longer benefit from a federal edict that violates the privacy rights of workers. Workers can now talk to their attorneys about their collective bargaining rights without having to grovel to biased federal bureaucrats.

Written by Shane Trejo

Shane Trejo is a contributing editor to The Schpiel.

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