On September 25, 2017, the U.S. Senate voted 49-47 to confirm William Emanuel to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) through August 2021. Once sworn in, Mr. Emanuel will join fellow recently-confirmed Member Marvin Kaplan, along with current NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra, to form a three member Republican majority on the NLRB – its first in ten years. Along with the October 2017 departure of current NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin and his replacement with anticipated nominee Peter Robb (also a Republican), assuming he is confirmed, the installation of Members Emanuel and Kaplan is expected to pave the way for a shift from the pro-labor, pro-employee bias the agency has been accused of showing over the past years under the Obama Administration to more unbiased and impartial (and likely more business-friendly) decision-making.
The addition of Member Emanuel won’t be the last change in the NLRB’s composition this year. Chairman Miscimarra recently announced that he will not seek another term as NLRB Chairman, and instead will leave the agency when his current term expires in December 2017. His departure will allow President Trump to nominate another Republican as a Board Member, as well as to designate either Member Kaplan or Member Emanuel as the new NLRB Chairman, or to designate Chairman Miscimarra’s replacement – currently rumored to be John Ring, a management-side employment lawyer in private practice – to be the new chairman.