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NLRB Names Acting General Counsel to Replace Robb (1)

Jan. 21, 2021, 5:16 PMUpdated: Jan. 21, 2021, 6:59 PM

The National Labor Relations Board has named Alice Stock acting general counsel to replace Peter Robb, the Trump appointee who was forced out minutes after President Joe Biden took office Wednesday.

Stock was named deputy general counsel by Robb in 2019, and previously was a management-side attorney. She was a partner at Pryor Cashman in New York for eight years, helping employers defend themselves against unfair labor practice charges and advising businesses in collective bargaining disputes and strikes, according to the agency’s website.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the White House will keep Stock as acting general counsel until a permanent appointee is confirmed by the Senate, or whether the administration would select a more union-friendly attorney. An NLRB spokesperson declined further comment in a statement Thursday that announced Stock’s role.

The NLRB enforces private-sector workers’ rights to organize, and its general counsel has sweeping authority—much like a prosecutor—to determine which types of cases the agency does or doesn’t pursue. Robb, a former management-side attorney who helped Ronald Reagan defeat the air traffic controllers union, had pushed an aggressive, pro-business agenda at the labor board.

The Biden White House fired Robb on Wednesday after he refused to resign, an unprecedented move that could bring about legal challenges from business groups.

Robb’s term was slated to last until this coming November, but major unions urged Biden to break with precedent by forcing Robb out immediately. He’s the first in more than half a century asked to resign by a sitting president.

Biden also named Democratic NLRB member Lauren McFerran to head the board, taking over from member John Ring, the Republican chairman since 2018 who presided over major business-friendly decisions during the Trump administration.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Kullgren in Washington at ikullgren@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com

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