Seyfarth Synopsis: Former management-side labor attorney Peter Robb was confirmed as the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, the last key piece to what many employers hope will result in the Board’s reversals of several Obama-era rulings.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Peter Robb as the next General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board. Robb replaces former President Obama appointee, Richard Griffin, whose term expired at the end of October.
Robb is a former management-side labor and employment attorney and NLRB veteran, serving as field attorney and Chief Counsel to former Board Member Robert Hunter. In his private practice, Robb represented management in various aspects of labor and employment law and published a number of articles critical of some of the Obama-era Board’s more “anti-employer” decisions.
Robb’s ascension as General Counsel, the agency’s chief prosecutor, along with the Board’s newly comprised 3-2 Republican majority — its first in over a decade — sets the stage for the Board to likely begin the process of overturning some of those decisions toward more “business-friendly” policies. Among the rulings many hope to see reversed under this new regime are the Obama Board’s expansion of the joint employer standard, its decisions barring class-action waivers in employment agreements, and its sometimes draconian interpretations on innocuous workplace rules, to name a few.
Only time will tell which cases Robb and the Office of the General Counsel will use as vehicles to facilitate the anticipated reversals of the Obama Board’s more controversial rulings. But for now, it remains business as usual for employers, as the process of litigating these issues up to the newly comprised Board could take several years.