September 24, 2021

Volume XI, Number 267

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Breaking: On First Day in Office, President Biden Shakes Up NLRB By Firing GC and Appointing New Chair

*** UPDATE: 

On his first day in office, President Biden fired NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb, according to a report by Bloomberg News. This marks the first time in the history of the NLRB that a President has terminated the agency’s General Counsel before the expiration of their term. As we reported earlier below, President Biden requested Robb’s resignation earlier in the day, and he declined.

President Biden capped off his first day by naming Member Lauren McFerran, the lone Democratic member of the Board, as the Chairman, replacing previous Chairman John Ring. We expect President Biden to fill the fifth seat of the Board in the near future. President Biden will have the opportunity to appoint a third Democratic member after Member Emanuel’s term expires this August.

We will continue to keep you posted. ***

*** UPDATE:

NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb has declined to resign from him position, despite President Biden’s request he do so. According to a Law360 Report, the General Counsel stated that his removal would undermine the General Counsel’s office’s independence. President Biden reportedly gave Robb until 5:00 PM to resign, or else be fired.

It is not clear whether Robb remained in his position at the time of this posting. We will continue to monitor for updates. ***

Within hours of being sworn-in as President, President Biden’s administration asked Peter Robb, the General Counsel of the NLRB, to resign from his position, according to a Bloomberg Law report. Robb was sworn in as General Counsel on November 17, 2017 for a four year term. The Biden administration asked Robb to end his tenure about ten months early.

While President Biden cannot appoint a majority of Democratic members to the NLRB until after Member Emanuel’s term expires in August of this year, the potential replacement of the NLRB General Counsel is significant, as the GC wields prosecutorial discretion over which cases presented to the NLRB’s Regional Offices advance or not. The GC also decides which cases to submit to the Division of Advice, the manner in which unfair labor practice charges are investigated and whether injunctive relief is sought.

We will continue to monitor developments in the composition of the Board, including the likely upcoming Senate confirmation of Peter Robb’s replacement.

© 2021 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 22
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About this Author

Mark Theodore, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose
Partner

Mark Theodore is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department. He has devoted his practice almost exclusively to representing management in all aspects of traditional labor law matters throughout the U.S. 

Some highlights of his career include:

  • Successfully negotiated the first contract for a shipping agency during constant threat by union to shut down Port of Los Angeles

  • Successfully defended a major theme park when the NLRB sought bargaining order after the union...

310-284-5640
Michael J Lebowich, Labor, Employment, Attorney, Proskauer, Law Firm
Partner

Michael Lebowich is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Labor-Management Relations Group. He represents and counsels employers on a wide range of labor and employment matters, with a particular interest in the field of traditional labor law.

Michael acts as the primary spokesperson in collective bargaining negotiations, regularly handles grievance arbitrations, assists clients in the labor implications of corporate transactions, and counsels clients on union organizing issues, strike preparation and day-to-day contract administration issues. He...

212-969-3217
Joshua Fox Labor & Employment Attorney Proskauer Rose
Associate

Joshua Fox is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Labor-Management Relations Group. He represents a diverse range of clients, including professional sports leagues and teams, hotels, hospitals, and pipe line contractors, among many others, in collective bargaining, administration of their collective bargaining agreements, arbitrations and matters before the National Labor Relations Board.

In particular, Josh has extensive experience representing professional sports leagues, including Major League...

212.969.3507
Samantha Shear Labor Employment Attorney
Associate

Samantha Shear is an associate in the New Orleans office and a member of the Labor and Employment Department. Samantha graduated cum laude from Tulane Law School where she spent two years as a member of the Judge John R. Brown moot court team. She served as coach of the moot court team one year, leading her team to win multiple awards for excellence in oral advocacy.

Prior to law school, Samantha worked as a freelance journalist for music publications.

Education

  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., 2018

Admissions & Qualifications...

504.310.2046
Heylee S. Bernstein Associate Proskauer Labor & Employment Employment Counseling & Training
Associate

Heylee Bernstein is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Counseling & Training Group. Heylee earned her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as the President of the Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law. In addition, she was a Senior Article Editor for the Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, and served as a Research Assistant in the Labor & Worklife Program. 

1-617-526-9621
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