POLITICO PRO has reported that Fight for $15 architect Scott Courtney resigned today from the Service Employees International Union, according to a statement from a union spokesperson.
Courtney’s resignation comes one week after SEIU President Mary Kay Henry announced his suspension from his position as executive vice president as the union conducted an internal investigation into his conduct. One source within the SEIU told POLITICO last week that the investigation had to do in part with his recent marriage to another union staffer.
In a statement, SEIU spokesperson Sahar Wali said that the investigation began “to look into questions about … potential violations of our union’s anti-nepotism policy, efforts to evade our Code of Ethics and subsequent complaints related to sexual misconduct and abusive behavior towards union staff.”
Wali added that the union will continue the investigation, in spite of Courtney’s resignation.
All the information below comes from Politico, which is a paid service CUE subscribes to on behalf of our members. This morning, they published a great summary of the initial impact of the fiduciary rule in their Morning Shift newsletter which we are sharing here.
The Obama Labor Department’s fiduciary rule — which requires that broker dealers consider only their client’s best interest (and not commissions or fees) when providing retirement advice — will take partial effect today; the rest takes effect in January. Here’s the breakdown:
What takes effect today:
— The rule’s broadened definition of fiduciary and investment advice.
— Components of the “best interest” contract exemption, which outlines certain conditions under which broker dealers may continue to receive fees and commissions. The provisions that take effect today require that broker dealers provide advice in their client’s best interest; receive compensation that is reasonable; and do not provide misleading information.
What takes effect in January:
— All remaining components of the “best interest” contract exemptions.
— Companies that provide advice to IRA holders will need to sign a contract with their clients declaring that they are acting in the clients’ best interest.
Implementation of the fiduciary rule was never a slam dunk under the new president — and its future still remains a bit murky. In April, the Labor Department delayed the regulation’s effective date in response to a White House a memorandum. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta eventually decided that there was no legal justification for delaying the rule further, and outlined his reasoning in a May 22 Wall Street Journal op-ed . But Acosta also indicated that he would review the regulation.
Earlier this week, the Labor Department sent a proposed request for information on the rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Meanwhile, congressional Republicans haven’t given up their efforts to block the measure. On Thursday lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced legislation to halt the fiduciary rule, and the House passed the CHOICE Act, a repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that also included a provision to repeal the fiduciary rule.
From ABC and Lubbock:
The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce was celebrating “an enormous victory for the constitutional rights of job creators in Lubbock and across the nation” after a Lubbock federal judge issued a preliminary injunction to block the United States Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing changes to the DOL Persuader Rule.
Senior United States District Judge Sam R. Cummings issued the injunction Monday after a hearing last week for a lawsuit challenging the labor department rule.
“We thank our legal counsel on this case, Lubbock attorney Fernando Bustos of Bustos Law Firm, PC, who is representing the Lubbock Chamber, NFIB, TAB, NAHB, and Texas Builders in the joint effort,” Beth Bridges, Lubbock chamber chairwoman, said in a statement from the chamber. “We are also grateful to the Ogletree Deakins and Kemp Smith law firms who have done such an effective job representing us and the job creators we serve.”
More here from Hal Coxson at Ogletree Deakins which handled the arguments in the Texas case:
On June 27, 2016, in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Perez, et al., the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas (Lubbock Division) granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, thereby enjoining the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its revised persuader rule on a national basis. The Court found that Plaintiffs’ challenge to the new rule, which was set to become effective July 1, 2016, has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits and that Plaintiffs have shown that they would be irreparably harmed if the rule was not enjoined.
This lawsuit was filed on March 31, 2016, by Plaintiffs the National Federation of Independent Business, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Association of Business, the National Association of Home Builders, and the Texas Association of Builders. Ogletree Deakins represents the Plaintiffs in this case. The State of Texas along with nine other states intervened in support of Plaintiffs’ position.
DOL’s new rule significantly revised and expanded the reporting and disclosure requirements imposed on employers and advisors (including consultants and lawyers) under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). If implemented, DOL’s new rule would require employers and consultants to report and disclose direct or indirect communications that have an object to persuade employees with regard to union organizing—including what was formerly considered exempt “advice” provided to management by consultants, including lawyers.
Plaintiffs contend that the DOL’s new rule violates the LMRDA, the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
Since the DOL promulgated its new rule, three separate legal challenges have been filed in federal district courts in Little Rock, Arkansas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Lubbock, Texas. The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota issued a decision in Labnet, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Labor on June 22, 2016, holding that while plaintiffs there had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claim, their motion for a preliminary injunction was denied because, according to the Court, Plaintiffs had failed to make a sufficient showing of irreparable harm.