On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, President Trump picked William Emanuel, 75, to fill one of the two vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB is currently controlled by Democrats, with a 2-1 majority. When there are no vacancies, the Board is filled with three members from the President’s party and two from the opposing party.
Emanuel was an employment lawyer at an employer-friendly law firm in Los Angeles. He has represented trade groups and employers before the NLRB for many years.
Trump has also nominated Republican Marvin Kaplan for the remaining vacancy on the Board. Kaplan is a former employee of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Kaplan worked with members of US House drafting employment-related legislation that would undue union election rules that sped up elections.
Confirmations could last months. If both Kaplan and Emanuel are confirmed, the NLRB will be a majority Republican for the first time in almost a decade. It is projected that a Republican-controlled Board would overturn many controversial rules and decisions enacted in the last decade, chief among them the NLRB’s broad interpretation of “joint employer” that created liability for employers for violations by staffing agencies and franchisees. The Department of Labor recently withdrew its Joint Employer informal guidance that adopted a broad interpretation of joint employer. On the same day, the DOL withdrew its informal guidance on independent contractors that was equally broad.