Biz groups hail Trump's labor board pick

Biz groups hail Trump's labor board pick
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Business groups are hailing President Trump intention to nominate attorney Marvin Kaplan to fill one of two vacancies on the five-member National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The groups say Kaplan, who now serves as chief counsel of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, marks the first step in an expected shift in control from Democrats to Republicans.

If confirmed, Kaplan would be the second Republican on the currently three-member panel alongside Philip Miscimarra, whom Trump named as board chair in January.

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“Marvin Kaplan will begin to restore balance to an agency whose recent and radical decisions and disregard for long standing precedent have injected uncertainty into labor relations to the detriment of employees, employers and the economy,” Kristen Swearingen, chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, said in a statement.

NLRB issued a series of controversial decisions during the Obama administration that angered business groups.  The panel changed the longstanding definition of a joint-employer, allowed unions to organize employees in so-called micro-unions and allowed employees to speed up union elections.

Before his time on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, Kaplan spent seven years working as counsel first for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and then for the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

A brief bio provided by the White House said Kaplan was responsible for labor and employment oversight and policy, including the National Labor Relations Act, Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, and Labor Management Relations Act, while working for the committees.

The National Restaurant Association also praised Trump for tapping Kaplan.

“The NLRB will be deciding a number of important issues, including the joint employer standard and micro-unions, that directly impact small businesses,” Cicely Simpson, the group’s executive vice president, said in a statement.

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace is hopeful a second NLRB nominee will be announced soon - perhaps before the end of the week -  and that the Senate will move quickly to confirm them.

“If we could get a Republican majority then we can start to overturn eight years of horrible regulations, which is going to take time obviously, but at least we won’t have the board stacked against us,” Swearingten told The Hill Tuesday.