Ring confirmed for NLRB, is immediately appointed chair

On the afternoon of April 11, the Senate confirmed employment lawyer John Ring to fill the last remaining vacancy on the National labor Relations Board. The next morning, President Trump announced Ring would become chair of the NLRB.

Republicans again hold a 3-2 majority on the board.

Ring’s appointment as chair means a demotion for fellow Republican Marvin Kaplan, who headed the NLRB for less than four months.

Kaplan had just assumed command of the NLRB in January when the board was forced to overturn its infamous Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors decision. That pro-employer ruling briefly restored the NLRB’s long-standing, narrow definition of a joint employer. However, a conflict of interest involving the law firm of the third Republican member, William Emmanuel, forced the board to vacate Hy-Brand and backtrack on the joint employment issue.

The resulting confusion led to murmers of discontent among some members of the business community.

In confirmation hearings, Ring had to promise senators he would recuse himself from any NLRB cases that could conflict with the labor relations work of his former employer, Morgan Lewis, which is the world’s largest law firm.

So good luck with that, Mr. Ring

Ring might need to brace himself for a brawl. A report in the Politico newspaper calls the current atmosphere within the NLRB “chaotic” and quotes an insider: “It’s sort of like ‘Game of Thrones.’” Blame bruised egos left over from the Hy-Brand reversal, as well as squabbles between NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb and several board members.