- The Senate confirmed President Trump's final nominee, William Emanuel, to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Monday 49-47. The move gives the Board a 3-2 republican majority.
- Emanuel and Trump's other nominee, Marvin Kaplan, were both approved by a Senate committee in July. Kaplan was confirmed by the full Senate shortly thereafter but democrats delayed a vote on Emanuel.
- The board may issue an increased number of decisions in the next few weeks ahead of another Board member's departure, but any major shifts in NLRB positions may be at least several months away.
Labor groups have generally opposed Emanuel; the AFL-CIO said he couldn't be trusted to adhere to the Board's self-described mission of protecting employees' right to organize. "Emanuel has exclusively represented employers, most recently at the notorious union-busting law firm Littler Mendelson," it said when Trump announced the nomination.
Employers, however, are hoping that Emanuel and Kaplan can quickly reverse some of the recent rulings that came out of NLRB during President Obama's term. "Top priorities of the NLRB should include: overturning the joint employer decision, which exposes large and small businesses to near-unlimited liability, and rescinding the union ‘ambush election’ rule that threatens worker privacy," the Competitive Enterprise Institute recommended in a statement.
NLRB's positions on these issues may very well change (although there's no guarantee); and if there is a shift, it's likely to take some time. The Board can only hear cases that the general counsel decides to bring, and Obama's GC will remain in place for a few more weeks. Trump has already nominated a replacement, but the position still requires Senate confirmation. In addition, the Board's chair, Philip Miscimarra, has said he will not accept a reappointment offer. When he leaves in December, the Board will likely face a 2-2 split for some time. For now, NLRB's rulings on those issues remain in place.