One of President Trump’s nominees for the National Labor Relations Board, Marvin E. Kaplan, was confirmed by the Senate on August 2 and sworn in on August 10 for a term that will expire on August 27, 2020. Member Kaplan eliminates the Democratic majority on the Board, which now has two Republican (Mr. Kaplan and Chairman Philip Miscimarra) and two Democratic members (Members Mark Gaston Pearce and Lauren McFerrin). Mr. Kaplan previously served as Chief Counsel to the Chairman of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, as counsel for the House of Representatives’ Oversight Government Reform Committee, and as policy counsel for the House of Representatives’ Education and the Workforce Committee on the Republican majority side. He previously also worked at the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards, and in private law practice. He received a J.D. from Washington University in St Louis and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. Confirmation hearings on President Trump’s other Republican nominee, management labor lawyer William Emanuel, will take place sometime after the Senate returns from its August recess.
Press reports indicate that President Trump is likely to nominate Vermont management labor lawyer Peter B. Robb to the position of NLRB General Counsel. Mr. Robb is a partner in the firm Downs Rachlin Martin, PLLC, and previously worked as an NLRB staff attorney and as counsel to former Board Member Robert P. Hunter, who is a Republican. If confirmed, Mr. Robb would fill the position now held by former union lawyer Richard F. Griffin, Jr., whose term expires this fall. The change of the General Counsel and a shift in the Board majority are likely to be greeted as good news by employers.
Meanwhile, in the “one step back” department, President Trump’s NLRB Chairman, Philip A. Miscimarra, announced that he would not seek re-nomination to a seat on the Board when his term ends this December 17. Thus, the President will have the opportunity to nominate one more Republican Board member and make a decision about who will be the Chairman after Mr. Miscimarra is gone.