The United States Senate has narrowly confirmed former counsel to the Commissioner of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Marvin Kaplan to one of two vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board. Kaplan’s confirmations leaves one vacant seat on the five-member Board.
President Donald Trump has nominated management labor lawyer William Emanuel for the other open slot on the NLRB. If Emanuel is confirmed – the Senate HELP Committee approved his nomination on July 19 — Republicans will hold a 3-2 majority on the Board for the first time since 2010. (A vote on his nomination has not been scheduled.) A full Board is expected to reverse many of the pro-labor rulings by the Obama Board, including those on class action waivers, joint employer, temporary workers, quickie elections, expansion of protected concerted activity (e.g., its impact on workplace policies), definition of appropriate bargaining units, and the status of college/university faculty and student athletes, among others.