Robb Slated for Labor Board’s Top Lawyer Job

Vermont management lawyer Peter Robb is set to be named general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board pending a background check, sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg BNA today.

Robb, who represents businesses in labor disputes as an attorney at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, would replace outgoing NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin (D). The Federal Bureau of Investigations is currently performing the background check, which is standard for White House nominees.

The five-member labor board is on the verge of having its first Republican majority in nearly a decade. The general counsel position is considered key to helping the board reconsider a number of decisions issued during the Obama administration, including moves to expand joint employer liability for affiliated businesses and limit employers’ use of contracts to block class actions by their workers.

Robb worked early in his career as an NLRB staff attorney and later as counsel to former board member Robert P. Hunter (R). He has represented Otis Elevator Company and the Elevators Manufacturing Association, among other clients.

Griffin, meanwhile, is scheduled to argue the class action waivers issue before the U.S. Supreme Court Oct. 2. The Justice Department recently split with the NLRB in that case, arguing that the waivers don’t violate workers’ right to collective activity. Griffin’s term expires Oct. 31.

Robb and a White house spokesman didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg BNA’s request for comment.

Bloomberg News reporter Josh Eidelson contributed to this story.

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