By Henry Thomas
Last month, the United States Senate confirmed attorney John Ring by a 50-48 vote to fill the National Labor Relations Board’s (“Board”) last vacancy. Ring fills the seat vacated by Chairman Philip A. Miscimarra (R) when his term expired in December 2017.
What this means for employers:
With Ring’s confirmation, the Board returns to a GOP majority of three Republicans and two Democrats.
The Board is anticipated to resume questioning the list of Obama-era policies that NLRB’s General Counsel, Peter Robb, identified late last year in GC Memorandum 18-02 (which we discussed in detail here).
Those policies include the controversial Purple Communications ruling, where the Board determined workers could use company email to conduct union business, and the Browning-Ferris decision, which made it easier for employees to hold companies associated with an employer liable as a joint employer.
Notably, the Board attempted to overturn the Browning-Ferris decision late last year in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors & Brandt Construction Co., 365 NLRB No. 156 (2017). However, the Hy-Brand decision was rescinded in late February 2018 after the NLRB’s inspector general determined Member Bill Emanuel should have recused himself from the decision (which we previously reported on in detail here).
We will continue to monitor Board rulings as they are issued, so stay tuned to the blog for further updates.