Recent Blog Posts
- Trump to Nominate Marvin Kaplan, William Emanuel to Fill NLRB According to news reports, the Trump administration has submitted Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel for FBI background checks, and it plans to nominate them by June to fill a pair of vacancies at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).
The administration hopes to have the new members confirmed by the Senate before the August recess.
Kaplan is currently counsel to the commissioner of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. He previously served as the Republican workforce policy counsel for the... More
- OSHA Withdraws “Fairfax Memo” – Union Representatives May No Longer Participate in Work Place Safety Walkarounds at Non-Union Facilities On April 25, 2017, Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and Thomas Galassi, Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, issued a Memorandum to the agency’s Regional Administrators notifying them of the withdrawal of its previous guidance, commonly referred to as the Fairfax Memorandum, permitting “workers at a worksite without a collective bargaining agreement” to designate “a person affiliated with a union or community organization to act on their behalf as a walkaround representative”... More
- President Designates Philip Miscimarra Chairman of National Labor Relations Board – What Changes Can We Expect? Philip Miscimarra. Credit: NLRB.gov.
On April 24, 2017 President Trump designated Philip Miscimarra as Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board). The move follows the President’s late January designation of Board Member Miscimarra as Acting Chairman.
A Republican Chair
Miscimarra, a management-side labor lawyer and a Republican, was nominated to serve on the Board by then President Obama in 2013 and was confirmed by the Senate for a four year term that continues through December 16, 2017. President Trump... More
- Supreme Court Rules That Former NLRB Acting General Counsel Served in Violation of Federal Law On March 21, 2017, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the National Labor Relations Board’s former Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon served in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 3345, et seq. (“FVRA”) when he continued in that position after President Barack Obama nominated him for a full term as General Counsel.
By a 6 to 2 vote, the Justices affirmed an August 2015 decision by the D.C. Circuit, which found that Solomon improperly served as... More
- D.C. Circuit Rejects NLRB Finding That FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors and Raises Doubts as to Board’s Joint Employer Test Over the past week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit weighed in on two separate related efforts by the Obama-Board to expand the protections of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) to workers who are not in traditional employer-employee relationships.
One Court – Two Cases
In a March 3, 2017 decision, the Court rejected the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) finding that FedEx Home Delivery drivers were employees and agreed with the company that the... More
- “A Day Without” Actions – How Can Employers Prepare? On February 16, 2017, tens of thousands of individuals across the country stayed home from work as part of the “Day Without Immigrants,” a social activism campaign organized in response to President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders concerning immigration and increased enforcement, deportation actions, and raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The “Day Without Immigrants” action was apparently not coordinated by any centralized organization, but was promoted on social media and by word-of-mouth just days before.
Now, the same groups that... More
- NLRB Acting Chair Dissents Point to Likely Changes to Board Election Rules and Employee Handbook and Email Standards
NLRB Acting Chair Philip Miscimarra has given the clearest indication to date of what steps a new Republican majority is likely to take to reverse key elements of the Labor Board’s hallmark actions of the Obama administration once President Trump nominates candidates for the Board’s two open seats and the Senate confirms. In each of these cases, Miscimarra highlighted his earlier opposition to the majority’s changes in long standing precedents and practices.
The Acting Chair’s Position On the Board’s 2014 Amended... More
- What’s Really in The NLRB’s New Amendments to Its Rules And Regulations and What Do These Changes Mean For Employers? On February 23, 2017 the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) made public a proposed Final Rule to revise its Rules and Regulations “ (the “Rules”) to reflect modern technology, such as E-Filing, and eliminate references to telegraphs, carbon copies, and the requirements for hard copy submissions and multiple copies, and to eliminate legalistic terms” from the Rules.
Because the Board contends these amendments to its Rules as “procedural rather than substantive,” it has taken the position that it is... More
- Labor Department Backs Away from Permitting Unions at OSHA Safety Inspections As we reported last week, the U.S. District Court refused to dismiss a challenge to OSHA’s controversial 2013 Fairfax Memorandum, which allowed for the participation of union representatives in OSHA safety inspections at workplaces where the union did not represent the workers. We asked at the time whether the Trump Administration would continue to defend that change in policy. This week, we saw the first concrete evidence suggesting that OSHA is at least reconsidering and may at a minimum drop... More
- F17 and the General Strike Movement – Best Practices for Addressing Political Activity in the Workplace This week, an activist group calling itself “Strike4Democracy” has called for a day of “coordinated national actions” – purportedly including more than 100 “strike actions” across the country – on February 17, 2017. The group envisions the February 17th strike as the first in “a series of mass strikes,” including planned mass strikes on March 8 (organized by International Women’s Day and The Women’s March) and May Day, and a general “heightening resistance throughout the summer.” The organizers are encouraging... More