NLRB Gets New General Counsel, Employers Exhale

By Patrick Scully

On November 8, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed the President’s nomination of Peter Robb as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board.  GC Robb will replace Richard Griffin, whose tenure was marked by aggressive prosecution and attempts to expand the scope of the NLRB’s jurisdiction.  Notably, GC Griffin launched a new “joint employer” theory, repeatedly prosecuted employers for maintaining allegedly unlawful rules, attempted to expand the definition of “employee”, and greatly increased the use of injunctions and extraordinary remedies against employers.  GC Robb is largely expected to take a more balanced approach to enforcement of the law.  Mr. Robb is a former Board Attorney and former Chief Counsel to NLRB Member Hunter.  Mr. Robb has had a distinguished career as a management-side labor lawyer, is a long-standing member of the NLRB Practice and Procedure Committee, and is widely respected.  Employers are hopeful that GC Robb will immediately scale back former GC Griffin’s more controversial initiatives, but it is unlikely that the new General Counsel will take any steps to alter the course of cases already in the administrative/court process.