New NLRB Member Kaplan Expected to Take Employer-Friendly Approach

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

August 3, 2017

Marvin Kaplan has been confirmed by the Senate for a five-year term on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Formerly counsel to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and currently counsel to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, Kaplan is the second Republican appointee to the five-member NLRB, joining Acting Chairman Philip Miscimarra. If President Trump's other nominee, William Emanuel, is confirmed to the now-vacant fifth seat, Republicans would have a 3-2 majority and could begin to reverse NLRB decisions issued during the Obama administration.

High on employers' wish lists is the 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, in which the NLRB ruled it would no longer require direct and immediate control over terms and conditions of employment to establish a joint-employer relationship. As a result, more companies can be held liable for violations of the National Labor Relations Act committed by franchisees and contractors.

Several business groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation, supported his nomination, saying he will "return much-needed balance to labor relations."

However, the AFL-CIO opposed Kaplan, saying it doubted he believed in the NLRB's mission to "protect [working people's] right to organize with their co-workers and advocate for improvements at work through collective bargaining with their employers."