On the first day of his Presidency, President Joseph R. Biden made two major changes at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”.)
First, President Biden terminated the current NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb. By way of background, the NLRB General Counsel is the agency’s chief attorney and, among other things, determines the cases the Board will pursue and issues guidance on important labor law issues. Upon taking office, President Biden requested former General Counsel Robb’s resignation, however, he refused to resign. As a result, President Biden terminated General Counsel Robb, who had approximately 10 months left in his term.
Second, President Biden named Lauren McFerran the Chairperson of the Board. By way of background, the Board is comprised of a five-member panel and a majority of members are appointed by the President. Chairperson McFerran replaced former Chairperson Jonathan F. Ring, who was appointed by President Trump. Although Chairperson McFerran will now lead the Board, she is still outnumbered by prior Trump appointees 3-1 as she is the sole Democrat on the Board and there is one vacancy. We expect that President Biden will appoint an individual to the vacant seat on the Board; however, the Trump-appointed Board will maintain a majority until August 27, 2021, when Board Member William J. Emanuel’s term expires.
We are continuing to monitor developments at the NLRB and will keep you updated.