On the eve of the election, President Biden pledged to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen,” and he appears to be fulfilling that promise.
On Inauguration Day, President Biden fired Pro Employer National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) General Counsel, Peter Robb. The next day, Alice Stock, who had been Deputy General Counsel and then Acting General Counsel for a day, was also fired by President Biden. Both were offered the chance to resign and refused.
Four days later, Peter Ohr was appointed Acting General Counsel, which was viewed as a step toward establishing a more union-friendly NLRB. Since then, President Biden has nominated Jennifer Abruzzo to be General Counsel, which is still awaiting Senate confirmation.
Jennifer Abruzzo works as Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives for the Communications Workers of America union. She previously worked for the NLRB for over twenty years, serving in various positions, including Acting General Counsel before Peter Robb was confirmed by the Senate.
In late April, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held hearings on her Presidential nomination, and on May 12, 2021, it was reported that she received an 11-11 tie vote.
The tie vote means she is eligible for a vote by the full chamber.
The General Counsel shapes the legal strategy and case management of unfair labor practice and union representation cases at the NLRB. They provide direction to the field offices on how to manage cases before them, choose which charges are prosecuted, and have the power to push cases forward to the Board in hopes of seeking reversal of existing precedent. Having a Pro-Union General Counsel is a big indicator that the NLRB’s employer-friendly era is over. Employers Council can help; call us with questions.