Following the eight disastrous years of Democrat’s perverse anti-job agenda at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Republicans are now busy cleaning out the accumulated filth of the Obama Administration.
Following the conformation of a new top prosecutor, Republican Peter Robb, there is truly a “new sheriff” in town. “Not only is the general counsel setting the table, he’s making the decision as to whether there’s a picnic in the first place,” said Michael Lotito, the co-chair of Littler Mendelson’s Workplace Policy Institute. “The general counsel fundamentally operates with virtually unfettered discretion. If he decides to issue or not issue a complaint, you’re pretty much stuck with that fundamental determination.”
Robb will replace the union hack, and Democrat partisan Richard Griffin at the post. Steve Bernstein, an employer labor attorney at Fisher Phillips, admitted Griffin “achieved an awful lot” during his four-year tenure. Michael Lotito called Griffin’s tenure “one of the most progressive general counsels in the history of the agency.”
Griffin had the ability to oversee the aggressive rulemaking and the adoption of radical and unhinged legal theories that had departed from the standing precedent and traditional interpretations of the National Labor Relations Act. His approach to the position led the agency to treat the college students as employees, hold McDonalds liable for labor violations committed by independent franchisees, give regulators oversight of employee handbooks, and declare hostile social media posts toward bosses as protected speech.
“What Mr. Griffin effectively did was find cases with factual scenarios to back up his arguments to get the progressive board to advance his progressive ideology,” Lotito said. “He would send out memorandums telling [regional staffers] ‘I’m specifically looking for these kinds of cases.'”
The management of the agency’s regional offices is another major area that gives the general counsel so much influence over the workplace. Fisher Phillips’ Bernstein expects Robb’s approach to the law to have more of a trickle-down effect on the regional offices where the unfair labor practices complaints originate. He said that the Robb’s ability to manage these offices and their staffs, many of whom are holdovers from the Obama administration, is the “wild card” of his confirmation.
“The general counsel sets the tone for regional offices in terms of investigating and initiating complaints”, he said. “One would hope all those regions would get in line and carry out strategy just as they did with the last administration … but employers have from time to time expressed concern that they don’t see a consistent approach from one jurisdiction to the next.”