American Oversight, a watchdog group, is suing the Labor Department for not responding to its Freedom of Information Act request to release “relevant documents” about Labor’s fiduciary rule.
The complaint, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks to force Labor to release records related to the department’s ongoing efforts to “undo” the fiduciary rule as well as the overtime pay rule.
These two Obama-era regulations were put in place “to expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay, and protect investors, respectively,” according to the group, which says its mission is to expose unethical conduct in the Trump administration.
Labor’s “attempts to roll back the overtime and fiduciary rules are yet additional examples of how the Trump administration has sided with well-connected businesses over the working Americans whose interests the president claims to represent,” said American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers, in a statement. “The public has a right to know why the Trump administration believes 4 million Americans should work for free, and why it’s OK for investment professionals to act in their own financial interests instead of their clients’.”
American Oversight, Evers continued, “is suing to find out what’s been going on behind closed doors.”
Evers told ThinkAdvisor in separate comments that “it’s especially troubling that the fiduciary rule decision seemed like a done deal from the beginning, and it makes transparency even more critical. If [Labor] Secretary Acosta and the Trump administration are going to roll back basic protections for Americans trying to save for retirement, the public has a right to know if that decision was preordained or driven by special interests.”