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Senate Confirms Appointment of William J. Emanuel to NLRB; Board Has Full Complement,- For Now

In a 49-47 vote today, the Senate confirmed William J. Emanuel’s appointment to the NLRB.  Once Mr. Emanuel is sworn in, it will be first time since 2015 that the NLRB has had a full five members.  Before 2015, years of gridlock often saw the Board at less than full strength, which resulted in all sorts of mayhem, including the two Member Board debacle.

Because the terms of NLRB members are staggered, whether the Board is able to operate at full strength is dependent on whether a nominee can make it through the confirmation process. With the addition of Member Emanuel there have been 8o Board members since the Board was established in 1935 (counting recess appointments).  Here are some statistics to throw around at a dinner party (since the NLRB is often a hot topic and you want to be in the know):  42 members (52.5%) have been Republican, 37 members (46.24%) have been Democrat, and 1 (1.25%)(Don Zimmerman- it seems like we should give him special mention) was an Independent.

The current terms of the existing NLRB members are as follows:

  • Philip Miscimarra, Chairman – Term expires December 16, 2017

  • Mark Pearce, Member – Term expires December 16, 2018

  • Lauren McFerran, Member – Term expires December 15, 2019

  • Marvin Kaplan, member -Term expires August 27, 2020

  • William Emanuel, Member – Term expires August 27, 2021

General Counsel Richard Griffin’s term expires November 4, 2018.  A General Counsel’s term is four years from the date of commission.  Here is a full listing of those who have held the position of General Counsel.

Of course, with the Board at full complement it can now decide cases that reverse existing precedent.  The Board may only be at full complement for the next several weeks as Chairman Miscimarra has indicated he intends to depart at the expiration of his term in December.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 269


About this Author

Mark Theodore, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose

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...