- President Donald Trump has selected two lawyers to fill the last two National Labor Relation Board’s vacancies, says Bloomberg Law. Marvin Kaplan, an attorney for the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and William Emanuel, a managing attorney for San Francisco-based Littler Mendelson, are undergoing FBI background checks and are expected to be nominated by June.
- Bloomberg says prominent Republicans are anxious to flip the NLRB, giving them a majority to undo pro-labor measures, such as the “joint employer” liability rule and “micro-units” recognition for union bargaining purposes.
- In March, the U.S. Chamber of Congress told the White House that the sooner the vacancies are filled, the sooner a “newly-constituted Board can embark upon re-leveling the labor law playing field” and “begin undoing the Obama NLRB’s radical policy shifts.”
Employers have been waiting for Trump to fill the NLRB vacancies. Nominations have taken a back seat to higher profile administration efforts such as drafting immigration policy reforms and attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
If Kaplan and Emanuel pass the FBI’s background check and are officially nominated, the GOP majority will likely begin to roll back pro-labor rules. The NLRB has been working to expand its reach, particularly concerning protected speech and unions, and was enabled to do so under the pro-labor Obama administration. A change in direction is likely under the Trump administration, but effects from the shift may not be felt for some time.
Some change is already in motion. Trump named Philip A. Miscimarra the NLRB's chair in April, and he has consistently ruled against what he views as overreach by the board. He's dissented against the board's joint employer ruling as well as the board's statements on micro-unions.