The Senate confirmed the appointment of Peter Robb as NLRB General Counsel on November 8, 2017, by a final vote of 49-46.
Robb will take over as the chief enforcer for the NLRB, and represents a dramatic departure from his predecessor Richard Griffin, who pursued a number of cases that changed NLRB law in ways unfavorable to business owners. Robb, on the other hand, is known for being the attorney who helped defend President Ronald Reagan’s firing of striking air traffic controllers in the early 80’s.
As this blog has been covering for some time, the winds of change continue to blow at the NLRB, which is undergoing significant leadership turnover under President Trump. Robb is a director at a management-side law firm, and is expected to re-orient the NLRB to step away from the more expansive, union-friendly decisions issued during the Obama administration.
As General Counsel, Robb will control how unfair labor practice charges are litigated before the NLRB. Robb will also control what cases will be presented to the new Republican-majority NLRB, though as previously covered, that majority will only last until December 16, when Chairman Philip Miscimarra’s term will end. Member Miscimarra has previously announced he will not seek a new term on the NLRB.
That small window of time means that cases initiated by Robb will not likely make it to the NLRB before Member Miscimarra retires. So, employers will need to continue to wait for the appointment process to sort itself out before Robb will have a chance to queue up cases for a Republican-majority NLRB.