June 30, 2017
Ryan Williams 202-677-7060


The Trump Labor Board’s List

June 28, 2017
The Wall Street Journal

President Trump is finally filling out the National Labor Relations Board, and not a moment too soon. Repudiating the Obama NLRB’s radical rulings will take time, but Congress could lend a hand.

Last week Mr. Trump nominated Marvin Kaplan, counsel at the Occupational Safe and Health Review Commission, to one of two vacancies on the board. And this week the President rounded out the five-member board by naming William Emanuel, an employment lawyer at Littler Mendelson who helped challenge the Obama NLRB ruling that bars class-action waivers in arbitration agreements. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the board’s theory, and the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

Both are well-qualified attorneys who will hew to statutory or case law. They are unlikely to get rolled by union-friendly staff who have sometimes been more knowledgable and influential than the board’s GOP members.

The nominations will give Republicans their first board majority in a decade, and there’s little time to waste. Some 360 cases are pending before the board, many of which present opportunities to correct recent board rulings that depart from longstanding precedent. The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace last year estimated that the Obama NLRB overturned 4,559 years of established law.

One example is the 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, which created a new “indirect influence” joint-employer standard that has upended contractual relationships as well as the franchise business model. The ruling, which nullified three decades of board and judicial precedent, allows unions to drag companies into labor disputes with subcontractors and franchisees.

Also pivotal is the 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision that let unions form micro-bargaining units within a “community of interest” that shares job classifications, functions and skills, among other commonalities. This lets unions use a divide-and-conquer strategy to organize workplaces.

Last year the board melded Browning-Ferris and Specialty Healthcare by ruling that employer consent isn’t needed for bargaining units that combine jointly employed and solely employed workers. Other Obama NLRB departures include letting university teaching assistants unionize and letting workers defame their company on social media and keep their jobs.

Don’t forget how the Obama NLRB rigged union election rules to deny employers due process. One change restricted employers’ ability to dispute the eligibility of workers in a bargaining unit before an election. And an expedited election schedule limits employers’ opportunity to present their case to employees. While employers can contest the board’s decisions in court, President Obama packed the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with liberal judges who are inclined to defer to the board’s judgment under the Chevron standard.

This is why it’s important for the GOP Congress to clarify ambiguities in the National Labor Relations Act that unions have exploited to give themselves organizing advantages that Congress never intended. For starters, Congress could codify the direct control joint-employer standard as well as union election procedures that protect employer and worker rights.

Legislation would protect the Trump NLRB’s decisions against legal challenges from the left while hemming in future Democratic majorities. Otherwise, employers will have to fight the same battles the next time a Democrat is elected to the White House.

To access the editorial, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit:

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.


Tell Congress: Stop the PRO Act

WFI is working to prevent passage of the so-called Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act)—a wholesale labor reform package that takes the current careful balance of labor rules and tips it greatly in the favor of labor bosses and forced collective bargaining.

The PRO Act robs workers of the right to a secret ballot to form a union, forces union contracts on workers without a vote of approval, and expose workers’ personal contact information to union bosses seeking to organize a workplace. And that’s just the start.

Help us speak out against this woefully misguided and blatantly anti-worker legislation. Review and send the message below to your members of Congress today.

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WFI Key Vote Letter: Opposition to PRO Act

— 02.10.2020 —
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: On behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), I am writing to share our organization’s vehement opposition to H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). WFI has serious concerns with the broad, overreaching nature of this legislation and the many ways in which it would undermine worker freedom and privacy, while simultaneously threatening businesses and entire industries that keep America’s economy thriving. Please note that WFI will include votes on the PRO Act and its amendments on our Congressional Labor Scorecard, which scores and ranks legislators based on their activity associated with workplace issues. WFI was established to fight for American employees and employers as well as our entire economy. We believe in worker empowerment, the right of workers to be fully informed of the options available for worker-involvement in the workplace, and the right to freely choose whether to organize or not. No individual or group – government, a union or an employer – should be able to intimidate or restrict workers’ in exercising these rights. In an attempt to boost flailing union membership at the expense of workers’ rights, the PRO Act would upend decades of established U.S. labor law and institute myriad anti-employee and anti-employer policies that have already been soundly rejected—by Congress, various federal agencies, or the courts. Among its most blatant affronts to workers’ rights, the PRO Act would eliminate the right to a secret ballot when determining whether to unionize and enforce a “card check” system, exposing workers to the potential for harassment, intimidation, and coercion. The PRO Act would also enforce binding arbitration in union negotiations by a government- appointed bureaucrat; repeal and eliminate right-to-work laws in 27 states, force workers to fund union activities regardless of whether they support them; and threaten the ability of individuals to operate as independent contractors, eliminating traditional economic and employment opportunities and threatening the independence and flexibility of the emerging gig economy. On top of all that, the PRO Act would force all workers’ personal and home contact information to be provided to a union during organizing campaigns – in an electronic, searchable format no less, with no limit on what a union can do with that information. WFI believes in advancing sensible policies that protect and preserve the rights of both employees and employers, and we welcome the opportunity to work with legislators who also support these efforts. However, the PRO Act does not achieve these goals and would instead threaten the rights of both while jeopardizing our entire economy. WFI urges members of the House to strongly oppose the PRO Act. Sincerely, Heather Greenaway Executive Director Workforce Fairness Institute See the letter here.
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