The Trump administration announced Monday that it is looking to fill both vacancies at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The rumored selections will also give the NLRB a Republican majority—the first since 2007.
Expected to be announced as nominees are attorneys Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, according to the National Law Review. They will join current chairman and lone Republican, Philip A. Miscimarra. The Trump administration hopes the Senate will confirm the new members before the August recess.
Kaplan and Emanuel will be expected to reconsider workplace issues which — in addition to many others relating to decisions made over the past eight years — include the standards for evaluating whether workplace rules interfere with employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), appropriate units for collective bargaining, the question of whether graduate students and research assistants are employees under the NLRA with the right to collective bargaining, and the NLRB’s test for determining whether joint employer relationships exist.
Kaplan is currently counsel to the commissioner of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. He is also a former chief counsel to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Emanuel is currently a management-side attorney at Littler Mendelson and a member of the conservative Federalist Society.
In 2007, George W. Bush was blocked by Democrats from filling three NLRB vacancies, forcing the Bush administration to move forward with a two-member GOP majority panel. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled this as unconstitutional. The Obama administration also experienced issues with the Supreme Court by making unconstitutional recess appointments. From 2008-2013, the board did not have enough members to issue binding decisions.