Finally: Trump Could Soon Fully Staff the NLRB

Posted by Olivia Grady on Thursday, May 11th, 2017 at 3:39 pm - Permalink

By Olivia Grady

President Donald Trump will reportedly nominate lawyers Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel as Commissioners to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by June after the FBI has conducted background checks on them. If nominated, the two lawyers may be confirmed by the Senate before the August recess.

Who are these lawyers who may be adjudicating labor disputes of national importance?

Marvin Kaplan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University in 2003 and completed his law degree at Washington University in St. Louis in 2006. He worked briefly as an associate in Missouri at McDowell, Rice, Smith and Buchanan before becoming a Special Assistant at the Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. Mr. Kaplan later became Counsel for the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and then Workforce Policy Counsel for the House Education and the Workforce Committee. He is currently Counsel for the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

William Emanuel earned his law degree at Georgetown University in 1963 after completing his Bachelor’s Degree at Marquette University in 1960. He is a shareholder at the prestigious law firm, Littler Mendelson P.C. in California. In this role, he is a member of the firm’s Traditional Labor Practice Group and editor of the Labor Relations Counsel, the firm’s labor blog. Mr. Emanuel has expertise in a number of issues relating to labor, including challenging laws that allow labor unions to trespass on an employer’s private property.

Both lawyers have a lot of experience working on labor issues that they could bring to bear on issues before the Board.

If the two men are confirmed, the National Labor Relations Board will have a Republican majority for the first time in nine years. This majority will likely review the Obama Administration’s harmful regulations and NLRB rulings, such as the joint employer rule and graduate student unions.

Business and conservative/libertarian groups, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), have been urging President Trump for months to fill the two vacancies at the NLRB.

On March 10, 2017, Randel Johnson, the Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote a letter to John DeStefano, Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Personnel, asking that the vacancies be filled quickly:

The Board currently has a two-to-one Democrat majority with a Democrat General Counsel, meaning that it can continue to issue decisions that benefit big labor at the expense of employers and workers. Accordingly, the quicker the two vacant Board seats are filled, the quicker a newly- constituted Board can embark upon releveling the labor law playing field and creating a climate conducive for economic growth.

Likewise, on April 27, 2017, CEI published a review of Trump’s first 100 days. Under Trump’s labor reform priorities, Trey Kovacs, a policy analyst at CEI, listed Trump’s failure to fill the NLRB position as “ugly.”

The days of union-bias NLRB decisions and job-killing regulations could be almost over!