NLRB Tilts to 3-2 GOP Majority With Confirmation of Emanuel

Author: Michael Cardman, Brightmine Legal Editor

September 26, 2017

The US Senate has confirmed management-side attorney William Emanuel to a five-year term on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Joining Acting Chairman Philip Miscimarra and Marvin Kaplan, Emanuel gives Republicans a 3-2 majority on the NLRB for the first time in almost 10 years.

With this majority, the board will likely take a more employer-friendly approach. It is expected to walk back its 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, in which the board ruled it would no longer require direct and immediate control over terms and conditions of employment to establish a joint-employer relationship. As a result, more companies can be held liable for violations of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) committed by franchisees and contractors.

Also high on one employer group's wish list is reform of the "ambush election rule."

Several business groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation, supported Emanuel's confirmation, saying he will "bring decades of relevant expertise to the board."

However, the AFL-CIO opposed Emanuel, saying it was not confident he would "vigorously enforce the NLRA consistent with the law's purpose of protecting workers' right to organize and promoting collective bargaining."