It appears that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may finally get new members, and along with it, a much-anticipated Republican majority. The Trump Administration soon is expected to formally announce attorneys Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to fill the two vacant slots on the National Labor Relations Board, to join the current Chairman and lone Republican on the Board, Philip Miscimarra.
The administration hopes to have the new members confirmed by the Senate before the August recess. If confirmed, the new NLRB members are expected to use their newly-obtained majority to reconsider significant workplace issues, including the NLRB’s test for determining whether joint employer relationships exist, the standards for evaluating whether workplace rules interfere with employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act “(NLRA”), appropriate units for collective bargaining, the question of whether graduate students and research assistants are employees under the NLRA with the right to collective bargaining and a plethora of other decisions from the past eight years that more expansively interpreted the NLRA.
Mr. Kaplan currently is counsel to the commissioner of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. He previously served as the Republican workforce policy counsel for the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Mr. Emanuel is a lawyer in private practice at a management-side law firm in Los Angeles with extensive experience representing employers in labor relations matters.
Along with the expiration of current NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin’s term in October 2017, the upcoming change in the makeup of the NLRB portends to bring an employer-friendly shift in the interpretation of the NLRA from that given over the past nearly nine years by the Obama-appointed NLRB.