17:48, July 10 449 0 law.com

2017-07-10 17:48:26
Littler Mendelson's William Emanuel, Trump Pick for NLRB, Discloses Clients, Compensation
National Labor Relations Board, located at 1099 14th Street, NW, in Washington, D.C. April 16, 2012. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Uber, one of the Los Angeles shareholder’s clients, has clashed with the labor board.

Littler Mendelson’s William Emanuel, one of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, identified 49 former clients in a financial disclosure and said he would recuse himself, for up to a year, if any of the companies appear before the agency.

Emanuel wrote in a letter filed to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics that he will resign from his position at Littler Mendelson, where he made a base salary of $417,770 a year as a shareholder in the firm’s Los Angeles office. For a period of one year, Emanuel, a Littler shareholder since 2004, said he will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which a former client is a party or represents a party, unless authorized to participate.

Trump has been criticized for issuing waivers to White House staff and Cabinet agency officials, which would clear an official to work on cases where there is a conflict of interest. There have been a slew of waivers issued under the new presidential administration.

The clients identified by Emanuel include Uber Technologies Inc., which has several cases pending before the board, JPMorgan Chase Bank, MasTec Inc. and Nissan North America Inc. Uber this year fought the NLRB over the national scope of subpoenas. Emanuel also said he provided legal services to the law firm Irell & Manella. Littler Mendelson represents MasTec in the U.S. Supreme Court now, challenging an NLRB ruling in a dispute over workers who spoke with a local news station’s consumer watchdog reporter.

Emanuel previously worked for the law firm Jones Day and participates in its benefit program, according to his federal disclosures. He will also not participate in any matter that has a direct effect on the firm to provide that benefit, unless a waiver is obtained. He also said upon confirmation he will resign from his board position of the Wine and Food Society of Southern California and not participate in any matters relating to that group.

Fellow NLRB nominee Marvin Kaplan, most recently counsel to the commissioner for the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, said in his disclosure letter he will not participate in any cases related to the Columbia University Hospital, where his wife is an employee.

The confirmation hearings for Kaplan and Emanuel are set for Thursday.

If confirmed, the NLRB will have the first Republican majority in a decade. Business groups have criticized the agency under the last administration and have expressed enthusiasm for a board that could bring more “balance.” Workers rights and union groups contend the GOP has politicized the agency, which often handles run-of-the-mill disputes between companies and unions.

Observers said the board could consider several high-profile issues once the new members are in place, including the examination of “joint employer” relationships, collective bargaining issues over “micro” units and whether graduate students should be considered employees with the right to unionize.

The House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday about a bill that spotlights an NLRB ruling on the joint employer issue. The bill would reverse the 2015 decision that made it easier to classify a business a joint employer, allowing contractors or franchisees to join union drives and the company susceptible to labor violation claims.

Meanwhile, other initiatives are in the works in Congress to rein in the board. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce cleared three measures that would alter federal labor law. The GOP sponsors say the measures will provide a balance to labor policies. The response in theory is to the perceived pro-union leanings of the Obama administration’s board. Democrats, however, have denounced the bills as sabotaging the ability organize and collectively bargain for better wages.

The bills would revise the election procedures for forming “micro” bargaining units” and reverse policies that give labor unions access to employee contact information during organizing campaigns. One bill would clarify that the National Labor Relations Act does not apply to Native American tribes. Currently, the disputes are considered on a case-by-case basis.