President Biden has nominated SEIU lawyer David Prouty for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board, making Prouty the second high-profile union attorney to be nominated for the NLRB by the President following Gwynne Wilcox's nomination three weeks ago.
Prouty currently serves as General Counsel for SEIU Local 32BJ, the largest property service workers union in the country with more than 175,000 members. Prouty previously worked as general counsel for the MLB Players Association and the UNITE HERE labor union.
If confirmed, Prouty would replace current Republican Member William Emanuel, whose term is set to expire this August. Adding Prouty and Wilcox by the fall would create a Democratic majority at the Board for the first time in four years, and one that is decidedly pro-union. Prouty could help oversee significant changes in major labor law and policy areas such as contingent worker status, joint employer liability, union election procedures, bargaining unit determinations, and union access to employer property, among many others.
“Prouty is an experienced and intelligent labor union lawyer, who we hope will, on occasion, consider the employer perspective as the new Biden Board fashions its agenda for labor law and policy,” said H.R. Policy Senior Labor and Employment Counsel Roger King.
Outlook: President Biden has certainly lived up to his promise to make labor issues a priority of his administration and to deeply integrate organized labor leaders and interests into his policymaking channels. A Democratic-majority Board, with two prominent organized labor advocates at the helm, could significantly rewrite labor law and policy irrespective of major legislative initiatives such as the PRO Act.