Peter B. Robb, a management-side labor law attorney, reportedly is being considered to be the National Labor Relations Board’s next General Counsel. The four-year term for the current NLRB General Counsel, Democrat Richard F. Griffin, Jr., expires this November. Robb previously worked as an NLRB field attorney and as chief counsel to Republican NLRB Member Robert P. Hunter.

When President Donald Trump took office, the NLRB had two Democratic (former Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Lauren McFerran) and one Republican (current Chairman Philip Miscimarra) members, and two vacant seats. The Senate has confirmed Republican Marvin Kaplan to one of the two vacant seats, while management labor attorney William Emanuel awaits a confirmation hearing.

If, as expected, Emanuel also is confirmed, Robb’s nomination and confirmation would set the stage for the Board to reverse many of the pro-labor rulings issued by the Obama Board.

Robb has been critical of the Board’s “tenacity to find neutral policies…unlawful,” such as employers’ social media policies and values statements. Robb has also argued that the NLRB’s new “quickie” representation election procedures give unions “a distinct advantage” (for example, by shortening the timeframe in which an employer has to react to a union election petition), and signaled that he would seek to undo the Obama Board’s expansion of the Board’s “joint employer” doctrine. These issues have been a primary focus of Republicans in recent years.

The NLRB General Counsel controls which cases the Board prioritizes and pursues. Robb would be in position to bring appropriate “test cases” to the newly full Board to reverse those Obama-Board decisions that many business owners have argued go too far in favoring unions’ agenda.

Even if Robb is nominated and confirmed as General Counsel, he will not take office until after Griffin’s term expires, in November. After that, it likely will take many months for the appropriate cases to make their way to the NLRB for decision and for changes to be realized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo of Howard M. Bloom Howard M. Bloom

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues. He trains and advises executives, managers and supervisors on union awareness and positive employee relations, and assists employers in connection with union card-signing efforts, traditional union representation and corporate campaigns, and union decertification campaigns. He also represents clients at the National Labor Relations Board in connection with bargaining unit issues, objections and challenges, as well as unfair labor practice investigations and trials. Mr. Bloom also has been the spokesperson at countless first and successor contract collective bargaining negotiations, and regularly advises on collective bargaining agreement administration issues, including grievance/arbitration issues.

Mr. Bloom has appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, several U.S. District Courts, the National Labor Relations Board, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Mr. Bloom speaks frequently to employer groups on a wide range of labor and employment law topics. He also has written extensively on labor and employment law for a variety of publications, including New England Business magazine, The Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal. He also is editor of and a frequent contributor to the Jackson Lewis Labor & Collective Bargaining Blog.

While attending law school, he was the Executive Editor of The Advocate: the Suffolk University Law School Journal and President of the Student Bar Association.

Mr. Bloom is a diehard baseball fan. His first book, The Baseball Uncyclopedia: A Highly Opinionated Myth-Busting Guide to the Great American Game, was published in February 2006.

Photo of Philip B. Rosen Philip B. Rosen

Philip B. Rosen is a Principal in the New York City office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Rosen also leads the firm’s Labor Practice Group. He joined the Firm in 1979 and served as Managing Partner of the New York City office from 1989 to 2009.

Mr. Rosen lectures extensively, conducts management training, and advises clients with respect to legislative and regulatory initiatives, corporate strategies, business ethics, social media, reorganizations and reductions-in-force, purchase/sale transactions, sexual harassment and other workplace conduct rules, compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, wrongful discharge and other workplace litigation, corporate campaigns and union organizing matters, collective bargaining, arbitration and National Labor Relations Board proceedings. He has been quoted by the press on many labor matters, including the National Labor Relations Board’s recent initiatives on protected concerted activity and the proposed Notice Posting requirements.