- Posts by Thomas LenzPartner
Thomas Lenz handles all aspects of labor and employment law issues and heads the firm’s traditional labor and National Labor Relations Board practices. He works with employers in all major industries across California and the ...
For the first time in years the NLRB’s five-member Board, which decides cases and enacts regulations, has a Democratic majority. The Board will decide cases as presented. It is expected that case rulings will revise legal standards applicable to the workplace and reverse decisions from the previous Administration and the previous Republican majority on the Board.
President Biden Names Peter Ohr Acting General Counsel of the NLRB
Following the unprecedented firing of National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) General Counsel (“GC”), Peter Robb, on January 25, 2021, President Biden designated Peter Sung Ohr (“Ohr”) to serve as Acting GC of the NLRB. Ohr, a career-long employee of the NLRB, began his career in the NLRB Honolulu Sub-regional Office as a Field Attorney, and in 2011, was appointed Regional Director of the NLRB’s Chicago Regional Office. As Acting GC, Ohr’s term is limited to forty days.
Before taking office President Biden identified former Boston Mayor and Building Trades official Martin Walsh as his nominee to serve as Secretary of Labor. Assuming the Senate confirms, the Secretary of Labor will carry significant weight on labor policy and enforcement involving issues including wage and hour, employee benefits, union and management reporting, workplace safety, and hot topic issues such as independent contractor misclassification.
On February 25th, the National Labor Relations Board unanimously vacated its December 2017 ruling in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd., which determined standards for establishing joint employer relationships. This action was taken after the NLRB’s Inspector General reported that Board member William Emanuel had a conflict of interest when he ruled on the case.
On February 20th, the United States Supreme Court ruled that in a collective bargaining agreement, no ambiguities should be interpreted by the absence of a provision concerning the duration of retirees’ healthcare benefits. Benefits clearly expire when the collective bargaining agreement itself expires. The Supreme Court’s decision, CNH Indus. N.V. v. Reese, was unanimous.
The National Labor Relations Board is considering modifying its case processing procedures in ways that could benefit employers, according to an internal NLRB memorandum obtained by the paid subscription service Bloomberg Law.
On January 12, President Trump selected Republican John Ring to fill the vacancy created last month by Philip Miscimarra's departure from the five-member National Labor Relations Board. If Ring is confirmed by the Senate, the NLRB will have three Republican and two Democrat members.
On Friday night, right before Chairman Philip Miscimarra’s term ended with the National Labor Relations Board, the Board capped its flurry of rulings by issuing one more decision favorable to employers: PCC Structurals, Inc., 365 NRLB No. 160 (Dec. 15, 2017). This decision overruled the NLRB’s 2011 Specialty Healthcare ruling that permitted unions to organize “micro-units” of employees for voting purposes unless the employer could prove an “overwhelming community of interest” between the petitioned-for employees and other employees. Because it was almost impossible to prove an overwhelming community of interest and because the resulting micro-units frequently were those employees most favorable to unionization, employers often faced a difficult challenge contacting a union’s grouping of employees for organizing.
The National Labor Relations Board gained a Republican majority less than three months ago, but has already disposed of many of the prior Administration’s labor law rules. Just this past week, the NLRB issued 13 decisions, including several important rulings favorable to employers. This bevy of rulings is understandable, given that NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra, a Republican, retired on Friday.
Last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Peter Robb as General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Robb previously represented employers in labor law matters. As General Counsel, Robb will oversee the NLRB in its headquarters in Washington, DC and in its field offices throughout the country. The NLRB’s former General Counsel, Obama-appointee Richard Griffin, had previously served as ...
Other AALRR Blogs
- Changes at NLRB forecast major challenges ahead for employers and expansion of rights for employees and labor unions
- The Future of Work (And Workforce Enforcement)
- NLRB Policy Shakeup: President Biden’s Notable Changes at the NLRB Could Signal a Change in Board Policy for Years to Come
- Labor Law Change Coming Soon in Biden Administration
- Private-Sector Employers Unaffected by the Supreme Court’s Janus Decision on Union Dues
- FAQ re Employees’ Weingarten Rights to Representation
- NLRB Vacates Its Hy-Brand Ruling on Joint Employer Liability
- U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Retirees’ Healthcare Benefits Clearly Expire When the Underlying Collective Bargaining Agreement Expires
- New Memo Reveals NLRB Is Considering Procedural Changes Potentially Beneficial to Employers
- Trump Selects Republican John Ring for the NLRB