Changes in interpretation of National Labor Relations Board case law that began with the appointment of Chairman Philip Miscimarra are expected to continue under John Ring, nominated by President Trump to succeed Miscimarra. Chuck Pautsch discusses the recent case law changes and what to expect in the future.
A few weeks ago the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), staffed with a 3-2 Republican Party majority for the first time in eight years, rolled back several key decisions announced since 2009, including the epic Browning Ferris joint employer standard and a standard that called for the intense scrutiny of employee handbooks.
However, close observers of the NLRB knew this counterrevolution would come to a halt, hopefully temporarily, due to the end of Chair Philip Miscimarra's term on Dec. 17, 2017. This GOP member had served in the minority for many years, offering scathing dissents as the President Obama-era board majority toppled precedent upon precedent, as it developed new case law in an effort to facilitate union organizing.
However, President Trump nominated Miscimarra's replacement: John Ring, an accomplished management-side labor lawyer. Once confirmed by the Senate, his appointment will restore the pro-management majority to the NLRB, so that it can get back to the business of rolling back the radical agenda announced over recent years.
For a sneak preview of some of the cases that the board is likely to "roll back," we would point you to General Counsel memorandum 18-2, which outlines the new NLRB General Counsel's own agenda, listing the suspect precedents that he will be seeking re-analysis of. It is expected that he would tackle such issues as bargaining unit determinations and post-contract decision-making by employers, including a reversal of the controversial 2012 board decision which forbade employers from ending checkoff of dues in the post-contract hiatus.