Glenn Spencer Glenn Spencer
Senior Vice President, Employment Policy Division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


August 03, 2017


On Wednesday, August 2, the U.S. Senate confirmed Marvin Kaplan to serve on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This marks President Trump’s first confirmed appointment to the NLRB and brings the Board to a 2-2 tie. The nomination of William Emanuel, Trump’s second pick for the Board, will apparently be postponed until after the August recess.

Kaplan’s confirmation is certainly good news, but, as with most things, there are some caveats. First, the vote was only 50-48 along party lines, meaning that 48 senators are apparently comfortable with the blatant bias of the Obama-era Board as well as the plethora of illogical decisions that Board issued. Second, with a 2-2 split, the Board will invariably tie on any controversial case that comes before it prior to Emanuel’s confirmation. This is likely to mean that if there are harmful decisions that flow up from the regional offices, those decisions will stand.

Kaplan’s confirmation is an important step towards returning balance to the NLRB. That said, there’s still a few more steps to take.

About the authors

Glenn Spencer

Glenn Spencer

Spencer oversees the Chamber’s work on immigration, retirement security, traditional labor relations, human trafficking, wage hour and worker safety issues, EEOC matters, and state labor and employment law.

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