A Decade In The Making: What Employers Can Expect From A Fully Staffed NLRB

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On July 30, 2013, the United States Senate confirmed all five of President Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”), marking the first time in 10 years that the NLRB has a full complement of members. The Board now includes three Democrat members (Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, Kent Hirozawa, and Nancy Schiffer) and two Republican members (Philip Miscimarra and Harry I. Johnson III). Prior to the confirmation of these members, as highlighted in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Noel Canning, doubts existed as to whether the Board’s decisions were valid given its lack of a legitimate quorum of members. The confirmation of these new members has removed any such doubts and, accordingly, the focus now turns to what employers can expect from this Board going forward.

While it is impossible to know what the NLRB’s agenda will entail, it is likely, given the makeup of the Board, that it will: (i) continue its pro-union agenda; (ii) continue its efforts to protect non-unionized employees through a broad interpretation of employees’ Section 7 rights; and (iii) revisit rules and regulations that have been struck down in federal courts.

Originally published in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel on October 12, 2013.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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