August 15, 2020

Volume X, Number 228

August 14, 2020

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August 13, 2020

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August 12, 2020

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Senate Confirms Pair of Appointees to National Labor Relations Board

In a package deal, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointments of two members to the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”).  Lauren McFerran, who previously served as a member of the NLRB for five years until her term expired on December 16, 2019, will rejoin the current Board as its only Democrat.  Current Republican Board member, and former Chair, Marvin Kaplan was appointed to a new term.  His term was set to expire on August 10, 2020.  His new appointment will now expire in August 2025.

Member McFerran, who was renominated by President Trump shortly after her term expired in December 2019, will occupy one of the two open Democrat seats and bring the total number of Board members up to four.  Traditionally, three Board seats are held by members of the President’s party and two are reserved for the minority party.  There is currently no other Democratic nominee pending for the remaining open seat.

Even with these most recent appointments, Republicans still comprise the majority of the Board.  The two other Republic Board members, William J. Emanuel and chairman John F. Ring, were appointed by President Trump in 2017 and 2018, respectively.  Their terms will expire in 2022 and 2023.  Thus, it is likely that the Board will have a Republican majority until at least 2022 regardless of who is in the White House.

Member McFerran has written a number of dissents to controversial decisions and regulatory initiatives made by the Board’s Republican majority, including such important topics as assessing joint employment, the standard to evaluate whether an employer’s unilateral change violates the NLRA, and worker misclassification.  We anticipate this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

While the most recent appointments will ensure that the Board has enough members to continue to operate, the outcome of the upcoming presidential election will certainly have an impact on the composition of the Board in the years to come.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 212


About this Author

Steven Porzio, Proskauer, labor attorney, employment lawyer,

Steven Porzio is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of both the Labor-Management Relations Group and Employment Law Counseling & Training Group. Steve assists both unionized and union-free clients with a full-range of labor and employee relations matters. He represents employers in contract negotiations, arbitrations, and representation and unfair labor practice cases before the National Labor Relations Board. 

Steve has experience conducting vulnerability assessments and...

Joshua Fox Labor & Employment Attorney Proskauer Rose

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 Baseball, the National Hockey League, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Soccer in collective bargaining, labor relations issues, such as grievance and salary arbitrations, and wage-and-hour issues.

Samantha Shear Labor Employment Attorney

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.


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

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