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DOL asks for stay in ‘unnecessary’ fiduciary rule challenge

The Department of Labor argued in one of five legal challenges to the fiduciary rule that proceedings be stayed while officials work on revising the rule administratively.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans challenged the fiduciary rule Sept. 29 and asked the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis for preliminary relief from a ban on having investors waive their right to bring class-action lawsuits. Government lawyers in an Oct. 13 brief said that request "is unnecessary and therefore inappropriate here."

The lawyers argued instead for a stay "because it would conserve judicial resources to await completion of the department's pending administrative actions, which are likely to address the challenged provision before it becomes applicable."

The government's brief also said the Labor Department "is likely to adopt a significant extension of the applicability date."

While Thrivent had alleged harm from that provision of the rule, "the very fact that an extension is likely makes these alleged harms uncertain," the government's brief said.