For the first time in nine years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will have a Republican majority, thanks to Monday’s Senate confirmation of William Emanuel, President Trump’s last nominee. Emanuel joins Marvin Kaplan, who was confirmed over the summer, and outgoing Chairman Philip Miscimarra to make it a 3-2 Republican board.
Trump also has nominated Peter Robb, a management-side labor and employment attorney, to serve as the board’s next general counsel. If confirmed, Robb would have the authority to issue or dismiss charges of alleged unfair labor practices against employers and, therefore, would play a significant role in determining the issues the NLRB decides.
Over the past nine years, the NLRB has issued a number of controversial decisions detrimental to employers. As an article in the legal website Lexology explained:
“The Democratic-led NLRB has decided several controversial issues, including broader joint employment liability, the appropriateness of small ‘micro units’ of employees, and the enforceability of employee class action waivers. The NLRB has also taken a hard stance with employee handbooks, holding that several common provisions have a ‘chilling’ effect on employees’ exercise of Section 7 rights to communicate about their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, and thus are illegal.”