Government Ethics Office Slips, Signals Who’s Getting NLRB Nod

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By Hassan A. Kanu

The Office of Government Ethics Aug. 29 inadvertently listed management-side employment attorney Peter Robb as a nominee for the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel job.

The OGE posted Robb’s name to a list of executive branch nominees who have submitted financial disclosure reports. It listed Robb under the NLRB section and identified him as the general counsel nominee, before removing Robb’s name completely.

Sources have previously told Bloomberg BNA the Trump administration plans to nominate Robb for the general counsel position. The OGE’s posting means Robb could be officially tapped for the job soon.

The White House declined Bloomberg BNA’s request for comment. An OGE official told Bloomberg BNA that Robb’s ethics report was “inadvertently” added to the OGE system “and is not currently available for release.”

Bloomberg BNA sought to obtain Robb’s financial disclosure documents after seeing his name on the OGE’s list of Trump administration nominees who have filed financial disclosures. Those disclosures are typically made public after the administration announces a nomination.

Current NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin (D) is set to leave the post when his term expires Oct. 31. The position comes with substantial authority, including the power to select and prioritize which cases the board hears and to issue unfair labor practice charges against employers or unions.

Robb, if confirmed, would be in a position to select appropriate test cases for the board’s new pending Republican majority consider. Conservative lawmakers and the business community have long sought to reverse a number of board decisions made under President Barack Obama, including the expansion of joint employer liability for affiliated businesses and limits on how employers can use employment contracts to block class actions by workers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hassan A. Kanu in Washington at hkanu@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bna.com

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