This Week in Washington D.C., Upbeat but Uncertain

  • December 3, 2016

I hope your week has been a good one. I spent the last 4 days in Washington D.C., and you can definitely feel the spark of change and uncertainty in the air. The Trump Landing Teams are on the ground there, and people all over the city are jockeying for positions of power, new and old.


Positive Change

I was at meetings of the Human Resources Policy Association, a gathering of many labor relations and business leaders, including a good number of CUE member companies.

In general, the mood was upbeat in that there was a general consensus that President-Elect Trump will be more business friendly, and that his cabinet will roll back much of the burdensome regulatory activity put in place during the Obama administration.

Positively Uncertainty

On the other hand, the Carrier announcement came out this week, saving jobs and putting business on notice that his administration would follow through on plans to impose tariffs on imports from employers who move jobs overseas. “This is the way it’s going to be,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times. “Corporate America is going to have to understand that we have to take care of our workers also.”


We’ll keep you up to date, for now here’s some additional insight via Politico.


President-elect Donald Trump appears poised to roll back nearly every major labor-and-employment regulation and administrative ruling issued under President Barack Obama.

Here’s some additional insight from a deep dive article written by POLITICO Pro’s Marianne LeVine:

NLRB joint employer standard — The National Labor Relations Board’s newly broadened joint employer standard makes it easier to hold businesses accountable for the labor practices of their subcontractors and franchisees. Reversing it would take time because it isn’t a regulation — it’s an administrative ruling (in a case that involved Browning-Ferris Industries).

Trump would first need to appoint two Republican members to the NLRB and, presumably, elevate Philip Miscimarra, the board’s sole Republican, to chairman. Then the board would have to wait for a new joint employer case to enter the pipeline. Coxson, of Ogletree Deakins, says “it’s questionable” when that will happen. He notes that the term of NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin, a Democratic appointee, doesn’t expire until November 2017, and Griffin is “unlikely to take cases up to the board that could possibly overturn [Browning Ferris.]” The quickest way to overturn Browning Ferris, Coxson said, would be through a case concerning union representation. Unlike a case concerning unfair labor practices, a union representation case permits an employer to ask the NLRB to review the certification of a bargaining unit (or other issues related to a union election) without going through the general counsel.