NLRB chairman keynote highlights 45th Annual Robert Fuchs Labor Law Conference

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019
Article Picture
Top: Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board John F. Ring delivers the keynote address at the 45th Annual Robert Fuchs Labor Law Conference.

Bottom: Suffolk Law Professor Marc Greenbaum presented the Robert Fuchs Award to Antoine Fares and Michelle Missigman.

The labor and employment bar was well represented as the Massachusetts Bar Association welcomed a capacity crowd to Suffolk University Law School for the 45th Annual Robert Fuchs Labor Law Conference on Jan. 17. 

The conference opened with a keynote speech by Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board John F. Ring, who outlined the current state of the now four-person board, which traditionally operates with five members. Since he became chair last April, Ring said the NLRB has begun an internal review of its ethics and recusal policies to ensure that member conflicts of interest can be more easily identified before cases are heard. 

In addition, Ring noted that the board is presently engaged in rulemaking on the standard for joint-employer status, having already extended the deadline for public comment three times, and will eventually shift its focus to election rules.

“I would do rulemaking on just about anything,” Ring said. “Eighty-five or so percent [of labor law] is probably well settled, and the other 15 percent we can figure out pretty easily.”

Solicitor of Labor Kate S. O'Scannlain, who delivered the conference’s other keynote address, spoke to attendees through a remote video feed while the partial federal government shutdown remained in effect. 

Following the speaking portion of the program, Antoine Fares and Michelle Missigman received the Robert Fuchs Award, presented by Professor Marc Greenbaum, in recognition of their outstanding performance in an MBA labor law course offered at Suffolk Law in fall 2017.

Attendees also participated in a plenary session titled, "Reading the Tea Leaves: Hot Topics and Recent Developments in Labor and Employment Law."