The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) historically had been little more than a sleepy federal agency that plays referee in union elections —until President Obama took office.
In the past few years, the agency has issued several controversial decisions and rulings that tilt the playing field in favor of labor (“quickie election” rules, allowing workers to use employer email systems for organizing, redefining the joint-employer relationship, etc.) And several other rulings give employees new rights in nonunion workplaces, too.
Expect these aggressive NLRB moves to come to a halt once the board’s makeup is changed. In his first days in office, a newly sworn in President Trump is expected to fill two current vacancies on the NLRB, tilting the board to a Republican majority for the first time in years.
The impact: Attorney Hal Coxson of Ogletree Deakins in Washington, D.C., predicted, “The NLRB’s record of historic reversals of long-establishedprecedent in areas such as joint-employment, independent contractors, waivers of class and collective actions in arbitration agreements, ambush union elections and micro bargaining units will, over time, be reversed.”