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Trump NLRB Head Moves to Oust Agency Inspector

July 5, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—National Labor Relations Board Chair John Ring has filed a formal complaint against agency Inspector General David Berry, the official who got a 2017 NLRB decision reversing an Obama-era “joint employer” rule voided. Ring’s complaint to the panel overseeing federal inspectors is that Berry allegedly treated agency employees harshly. But three current and former senior NLRB personnel and four congressional staffers, speaking to Bloomberg Law on condition of anonymity, said Ring’s main motive is replacing Berry with someone more compliant with the Trump administration’s anti-union agenda. In February 2018, after the NLRB voted 3-2 to make it harder to hold companies responsible for labor-law violations affecting workers they don’t directly hire, Berry ruled that member William Emanuel should have recused himself for conflict of interest because his former law firm was representing employers in a similar case. Ring, who joined the board in April 2018, has made reversing the Obama NLRB’s joint-employer rule a top priority. Former NLRB chair Mark Pearce said that while Berry has been aggressive with staffers implicated in misconduct, the allegations against him were a “perfect pretext” if the people in control wanted to “prevent him from being involved in legitimate investigations.” Read more

July 5, 2019

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