By: Christopher W. Kelleher, Esq.

Seyfarth Synopsis: After this week’s Senate confirmation, William J. Emanuel becomes the fifth member on the National Labor Relations Board and creates a 3-2 Republican majority. But employers must still play the waiting game to see a change in course from the Obama-era rulings.

The National Labor Relations Board took another big step away from the Obama-era Board composition earlier this week as William J. Emanuel gained Senate approval and was subsequently sworn in as the fifth and final (for now) Board member.  Mr. Emanuel brings extensive management-side experience to the Board, and he will be the third Republican member on the Board, giving Republicans a 3-2 majority over Democrats for the first time in over a decade.

While this may give employers reason to celebrate, on December 16, 2017, Chairman Philip Miscimarra will be stepping down. As we previously reported, President Trump will then have the opportunity to appoint another Board member.

Member Emanuel’s confirmation continues a flurry of activity surrounding the NLRB in recent months. Member Marvin Kaplan was confirmed in August, and President Trump recently nominated Peter Robb to succeed Richard Griffin as NLRB General Counsel.

While we expect to see the new “Trump Board” reverse many Obama-era decisions, it must wait for these issues to “percolate” before it can do so.