Vice President, Labor Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
August 09, 2017
The chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Philip A. Miscimarra, reportedly has announced that he will not seek another term on the Board when his current term expires on December 6.
The news of the chairman’s departure does not come as a complete surprise, as there have been rumors circulating for some time that he would not remain on the NLRB. According to the press reports, Mr. Miscimarra expressed his desire to return to his family, which lives in Chicago, before his three sons enter college, which would happen while he was on a second term if he accepted it.
The makeup of the NLRB has been a source of particular concern for several years, as the Board has been dominated by a majority that has used its power to upend decades of well-settled law in favor of more union-friendly policies. With the election of a Republican president in last November’s election, observers of labor law have anticipated a shift to a Republican majority on the NLRB for the first time in a decade, but until only recently, Mr. Miscimarra remained a minority of one, with two Democrat members outnumbering him.
In recent months, the president nominated two additional Republicans, Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, which would create a 3-2 Republican majority. With Mr. Miscimarra’s departure, any such majority could be short-lived, however. While Mr. Kaplan was recently confirmed, and Mr. Emanuel is expected to be confirmed in September, the chairman’s current term expires in December, which will again create a 2-2 deadlock on the Board until a replacement is nominated and confirmed, assuming Mr. Emanuel’s confirmation.
The U.S. Chamber’s Workforce Freedom Initiative has been consistent in its call for a restoration of balance at the NLRB. Once Mr. Miscimarra vacates his seat, one hopes a new nominee is ready to take his place so the work of overturning the lopsided policies of the last several years can begin as quickly as possible.