Trump picks Republican lawyer Kaplan for U.S. labor board

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U.S. President Donald Trump was poised on Tuesday to nominate Washington lawyer Marvin Kaplan to the National Labor Relations Board, nudging the agency toward a Republican majority that could overturn a series of decisions that have riled businesses.

Late on Monday, the White House issued a statement saying Trump had selected Kaplan, a fellow Republican currently with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, to one of the board’s five seats. After Trump officially names him, he must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The NLRB, which oversees union elections and disputes between workers, unions, and employers, has been controlled by Democrats for nearly a decade, and they currently have a 2-1 majority with two vacancies.

The board, when fully stocked, includes three members from the president’s party and two from the opposing party. Under Trump, lawyers and business groups expect the board to roll back a series of policy changes adopted during the administration of former President Barack Obama.

Chief among those was a 2015 decision that expanded the circumstances in which a company is considered a “joint employer” liable for legal violations by contractors, staffing agencies, and franchisees.

The NLRB is also expected to revisit new rules designed to speed up the union election process that business groups say favor unions, and decisions allowing workers to use company email accounts to organize and to picket on employers’ private property.

Kaplan, who did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday, previously worked for Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives crafting employment-related legislation, including a bill that would undo the new union election rules.

Business groups including the National Restaurant Association and International Franchise Association praised the nomination, saying Kaplan and a second nominee who Trump is expected to name this week would bring more balance to the board.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by David Gregorio)