President Biden last week named Lauren McFerran as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. On Monday, Biden appointed veteran NLRB attorney Peter Sung Ohr as acting general counsel.
Chairman. McFerran served on the NLRB from December 2014 to December 2019, and was re-confirmed for another term in July 2020. Prior to serving on the NLRB, McFerran was chief labor counsel for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. She also previously served the committee as deputy staff director under former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
Her term as chairman expires in December 2024. The NLRB also comprises John Ring, chairman during the Trump administration; Marvin Kaplan; and William Emanuel. One board member seat is vacant.
General counsel. Ohr has served as regional director of the NLRB’s Chicago Regional Office since 2011. He began his career with the NLRB in Honolulu as a field attorney. In 2005, he was appointed deputy assistant general counsel in the NLRB’s division of operations-management.
The changes mark “the opening steps of the Biden administration’s effort to reorient the NLRB and change board law toward protecting workers and boosting union rights,” according to Bloomberg Law.
Last February, the NLRB had released a final rule covering joint employment status, reversing the 2015 Browning-Ferris ruling by the Obama-era NLRB. The board also in 2019 issued an advice memo clarifying that Uber drivers are independent contractors.