Employment Law

Change of the Guard – Federal Appointees to Shape US Labor Law

By Nadia P. Bermudez

Nadia B. Bermudez, Esq.
Nadia B. Bermudez

In late January, President Donald Trump appointed Philip A. Miscimarra to serve as acting chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. Miscimarra, who already served on the Board, had penned several dissents that were contrary to employee-friendly rulings. For example, in dissents by Miscimarra and NLRB member Harry Johnson, Miscimarra criticized the NLRB’s ruling that gas station chain Murphy Oil USA Inc.’s arbitration agreements barring workers from pursuing class actions were unlawful. Federal courts of appeal are currently split on the issue of class waivers, and many anticipate that the US Supreme Court may soon bring clarity to this labor question.

In other appointment news, President Trump selected Victoria Lipnic to serve as the as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s acting chairwoman. Lipnic has served on the EEOC board since 2010. Lipnic also has other public service experience serving as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards under President George W. Bush.

These presidential agency head appointments may alter the focus and scope of the NLRB and EEOC’s objectives over the next few years.

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