December 5, 2021

Volume XI, Number 339

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December 03, 2021

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December 02, 2021

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Biden Starts Swiftly With Changes at Labor Board

Minutes following his swearing in, President Joe Biden demanded that Peter Robb resign his post as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Robb refused to resign and, in an unprecedented move, was summarily fired by the White House.

Robb has been a lightning rod for criticism from organized labor. He was confirmed by the Senate for a term slated to end in November 2021. Published reports say Biden had been under pressure to immediately remove Robb since Election Day.

It is not clear that the President has the unilateral authority to discharge the NLRB General Counsel. In 1950, President Harry Truman asked for the resignation of then-General Counsel Robert Denham, who complied with the request. An involuntary termination has never occurred.

In another move, the Biden administration replaced Republican NLRB member John Ring as the chairman of the NLRB with member Lauren McFerran. (He remains a sitting member until December 16, 2022.) McFerran is the sole Democrat member on the NLRB.

While these moves strongly suggest the new administration intends reversals at the NLRB, the composition of the NLRB remains at three Republicans and one Democrat, with one vacant seat. Republican member William Emanuel’s term expires on August 27, 2021. Upon nomination and Senate approval of two (presumably) Democrat members after that date, the NLRB majority will flip from Republican to Democrat. Until that time, the Republican majority will retain a large measure of control.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 21
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About this Author

Jonathan J. Spitz, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney, Atlanta
Shareholder

Jonathan J. Spitz is a Principal in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the firm’s Labor and Preventive Practices Group.

Mr. Spitz lectures extensively, conducts management training, and advises clients with respect to legislative and regulatory initiatives, corporate strategies, business ethics, social media issues and the changing regulatory landscape. He understands the practical and operational needs of corporate America, helping design pragmatic strategies to minimize risk and maximize performance. He has represented...

404-586-1835
Richard F. Vitarelli Harford  Connecticut Labor Relations Lawyer at Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Richard F. Vitarelli is a Principal in the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Part of the firm’s national labor practice, he has over two decades of experience representing employers nationally in strategic labor relations, collective bargaining, and union organizing, including in the context of mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and contract administration. He serves as general labor and employment counsel for employers and multi-employer associations in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, health care and senior living,...

860-522-0404
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