The U.S. Senate confirmed Alexander Acosta as head of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on April 27, solidifying Trump’s pro-business stance on labor following his recent appointment of Philip Miscimarra as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The nation’s top agencies on workplace laws are now poised to tackle many of the changes brought about through former President Obama’s labor initiatives.
Acosta, dean of Florida International University Law School, served as a member of the U.S. Department of Justice and the NLRB under President George W. Bush. One of the first issues Acosta is expected to address is the DOL’s overtime rule issued under President Obama. The new rule, raising the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476 as well as the threshold for highly compensated employees, has been on hold since November 2016 when a federal judge enjoined the rule.
Miscimarra has been serving as acting chairman of the NLRB since January, making his appointment no surprise to the labor world. Miscimarra, an attorney who represented management before the NLRB for many years, was first appointed to the NLRB under President Obama and is the only Republican currently serving on the board. Miscimarra has served as a vocal dissent to the recent pro-union decisions of the NLRB overturning decades of precedent. Although he remains in the minority until the Senate confirms Trump’s to-be-named Republican nominees to fill two NLRB vacancies, Miscimarra is expected to revisit many of the NLRB’s recent pro-union decisions. Miscimarra has often asserted his position that the NLRB exceeded its authority, leading labor experts to believe he will lead the NLRB to restoring decades old labor laws to their pre-Obama status.
The St. Louis employment attorneys at McMahon Berger have been representing employers across the country in labor and employment matters for over sixty years, and are available to discuss these issues and others. As always, the foregoing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice regarding any particular situation as every situation must be evaluated on its own facts. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.