Ring’s Appointment to NLRB Restores Republican Majority

BREAKING NEWS: The White House on Thursday, April 12, announced John Ring would become chair of the NLRB, and Marvin Kaplan would relinquish the post and remain as a member.

The Senate’s confirmation of John Ring today to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) restores Republicans to a 3-2 majority. The board had been deadlocked 2-2 since the expiration of the term of Philip Miscimarra in December.


John Ring, new NLRB Chair

In the interim, the board has been forced to reverse itself on the issue of what constitutes a joint employer. With the GOP majority now back on top, they may look for another case in which they can reverse Browning-Ferring once again, having failed to do so with its retracted Hy-Brand decision.

At stake is the loose Obama-era standard for defining a joint employer known as “indirect control,” which makes virtually every franchiser responsible legally for wage and hour and other employment actions by its franchisees. In Hy-Brand, the board overturned that standard and returned it to the historic standard of “direct and immediate” control.

That decision had to be vacated when the board’s inspector general said it was tainted by the vote of GOP member William Emanuel, whose previous firm had been involved in the Browning-Ferris case.

Today’s confirmation has unions worried about the future direction of NLRB decisions.

“It looks as though this board is going to be incredibly active, and make things harder” for unions, said Catherine Ruckelshaus, a lawyer with the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a union-funded employment law and policy advocacy group. NELP is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents nearly 2 million U.S. workers.

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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