September 28, 2017

Full House at the NLRB: Fifth Member Confirmed by Senate

William Emanuel, the second of President Donald Trump’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in as the newest member of the NLRB. Emanuel’s confirmation means that, for the first time in a decade, Republicans hold a majority of seats on the NLRB. 

The Senate confirmed Emanuel on September 25 by a party-line vote of 49-47. He was sworn in on September 27 for a term ending on August 27, 2021. Emanuel has 40 years of experience as a management-side labor and employment lawyer. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University and his B.A. from Marquette University.

Although the NLRB now has a full complement of five members and Republicans hold a 3-2 majority, more change is on the horizon. The term of current NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra, another Republican and former management-side labor lawyer, ends on December 16, and he has announced that he is not seeking reappointment. President Trump has not yet nominated a replacement for Miscimarra. Also, current NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin’s term ends on November 4, 2017, and President Trump has nominated Vermont labor lawyer Peter Robb to succeed Griffin. Like Emanuel, Robb must be confirmed by the Senate before he succeeds Griffin as General Counsel.

Boards with Republican majorities tend to issue more decisions favoring employers, so employers should anticipate that, over time, this Board will pursue a pro-business agenda that may involve revisiting previous high-profile decisions on issues such as the joint employer standard, micro-bargaining units, and employer policies and work rules.

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