Federal judge issues permanent injunction against DOL Persuader Rule

Federal judge issues permanent injunction against DOL Persuader Rule
Source: Reagan Roberts
Source: Reagan Roberts

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's a historic case that is not over yet, because the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce says they will continue to fight.

They learned Wednesday that Lubbock Federal Judge Samuel Cummings blocked the U.S. Department of Labor Persuader (DOL) Rule. He granted a request for a permanent national injunction.

Fernando Bustos is the attorney who represents the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. He believes the DOL was "trying to put a target on the back of small businesses."

"If they could force lawyers to out their clients to the federal government, then those unions would know, 'Oh, okay, these three businesses in Lubbock, they've been getting advice protecting themselves against unions,'" he said, "well, that's who we need to hit up for a union organizing drive."

That is why Bustos said it is critical to stop the DOL's Persuader Rule.

"Unions really aren't the way to go in the eyes of a lot of people, including my clients," he said. "The National Federation of Independent Businesses in nine states filed suit to stop the rule from being enforced, and we were able this past summer to have the Lubbock Federal Court enter a temporary injunction."

So now that Lubbock Federal Judge Samuel Cummings has blocked the rule permanently, Bustos says this dispute is in the final stages.

"The DOL has started an appeal of the temporary injunction," he said, "so we think that that appeal is probably going to get dismissed now as moot in light of the permanent injunction that Judge Cummings issued today."

Bustos believes President-Elect Donald Trump will undo the rule because of his business approach to life.

"It is just a question of how fast he can get it done," Bustos said.

This all comes as a relief to Lubbock City Councilman Steve Massengale, who is the owner of The Matador in Lubbock. He said it is critical for small business owners to seek confidential legal advice at times.

"This is one of those things that really compromised the small business owners' position to protect themselves," Massengale said.

Massengale is thankful to see Bustos and the Chamber work together to protect small business owners like him.

"We need to look out for any type of overreach, federal government overreach, that might hurt any small businesses," he said, "so I really applaud the Chamber on their efforts on this one."

If citizens want to help by voicing their opinions about this issue, Bustos suggests they contact the White House after President-Elect Trump takes office.

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