The U.S. Senate voted 50‐48 along party lines on Wednesday to confirm President Trump’s Republican NLRB nominee, John Ring, restoring the Board to a full complement of five members. This once again gives Republicans a 3‐2 majority on the Board, which has operated with a 2‐2 Republican‐Democrat deadlock since December 16, when Republican Chairman Philip Miscimarra’s term expired.
Just prior to Miscimarra’s departure in December, the Board issued a flurry of decisions overturning a number of Obama‐era precedents:
- A Final Bow from Miscimarra Lessens Employer Bargaining Obligations
- All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men CAN Put Humpty Dumpty Together Again: NLRB Overrules Specialty Healthcare, Potentially Reducing Number of Fractured Bargaining Units
- NLRB Delivers Early Holiday Gifts to Employers
- And So It Begins…Trump NLRB Overturns Obama NLRB Precedent for First Time
Since then, the 2‐2 deadlock has stalled the expected rollback of decisions from the past decade that Republicans often viewed as overreaching by the Board. Now with a full complement of members and a Republican majority, many expect that a number of Obama‐era decisions are once again in the crosshairs, most notably the 2014 Purple Communications decision, which requires employers to allow employees to use their email systems for union organizing activity, save in limited circumstances.