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 legal counsel to a large union. Griffin’s term expired last month. As the new General Counsel, Robb should influence how local NLRB offices investigate and prosecute unfair labor practice cases and handle workplace election matters.
We expect to report more NLRB news in the next few months. Current NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra, a Republican, has announced he will leave when his first term expires on December 16th. President Trump is expected to appoint another Republican to take Miscimarra’s place.
The five-member Board has been comprised of a majority of Republicans since September, when Trump-appointee William Emanuel joined the Board. The NLRB had been majority-Democrat for the past decade. Given that the NLRB decides cases and enacts regulations and that its General Counsel determines which cases to prosecute, the Board likely will revisit issues decided by the Obama-era NLRB. We expect rule changes on matters involving employee email, the scope of protected employee speech, and elections to determine whether employees have union representation. The Board also may overturn some Obama-era decisions employers have found troubling, such as the expanded standard for joint employers and prohibition of class action waivers in employment agreements. The wheels of justice move slowly, so these changes may not go into effect for years.
On November 28th, Thomas Lenz will talk about the NLRB in more depth at a one-hour webinar, Update on National Labor Relations Board Practice, for the State Bar of California’s Labor and Employment Section.
We will discuss the NLRB and many other issues at AALRR’s Labor Relations Law Conference on May 18, 2018.
Thomas Lenz leads the firm’s private sector labor relations team. He is a recognized authority in all aspects of labor and employment law with noted expertise in collective bargaining and all issues pertaining to the National ...
L. Brent Garrett is a seasoned labor lawyer with 20 years of experience representing employers in complex labor relations matters. Mr. Garrett represents employers across all industries, including construction, healthcare ...
Other AALRR Blogs
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- NLRB Adds Compensatory Damages to Its Scope of Remedies
- Widespread Efforts to Organize Require Employer Preparation
- How to Ensure Your Employee Handbook Does Not Infringe on Union Rights
- 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