Mr Robb, a management side labour lawyer best known for his representation of the FAA during the 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike, will succeed Richard Griffith Jr who was appointed to his four year term by President Barrack Obama in 2013. Although Mr Griffin’s term concluded on the 31st of October and the Senate sent Mr Robb’s confirmation to the President for his signature, to date President Trump has not signed off, with the result that, since the start of this month, deputy general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has been serving as acting general counsel.
The Board’s general counsel ‘is independent from the board and is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices in the processing of cases’. According to the posting, the general counsel plays a key role in shaping policy by guiding the Board’s regional directors in terms of determining priorities for enforcement and shaping the legal arguments and theories that the lawyers in the Regional Offices will argue before the agencies Administrative Law Judges and the Board itself in unfair labour practice cases. Notably, the general counsel has the final and unreviewable decision making authority in investigations and in deciding whether a charge will be dismissed or a complaint will issue.
The posting added: ‘Mr Griffin was known as an advocate of a broad reading of the National Labor Relations Act and for aggressively applying the Act’s protections to employees in non-union businesses.'
Unwinding of ‘expansive actions’
‘It is widely expected that once Mr Robb takes the helm in the General Counsel’s Office that he will pursue an unwinding of many of the expansive actions of his predecessor in areas such as joint-employer, social media, deferral to arbitration and enforcement of class action waivers and mandatory arbitration of disputes between unrepresented employees and their employers.