Trump names temporary chairs for U.S. labor agencies

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By Daniel Wiessner

<span class="articleLocation”>U.S. President Donald Trump has appointed
Republican members of two federal labor agencies to serve as
their acting chairs, an early signal of a shift to more
business-friendly policies.

The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday said Trump
had named Philip Miscimarra to the temporary role, one day after
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that
Victoria Lipnic had been named acting chair of the commission.

The NLRB oversees union elections and enforces a federal law
protecting workers’ rights to organize. The EEOC enforces
federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Under former
President Barack Obama, both agencies were the target of fierce
criticism from business groups and Republican officials.

Miscimarra and Lipnic, both Obama appointees, will
temporarily replace Democrats who had chaired the agencies until
Trump’s permanent replacements are confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The EEOC and NLRB chairs make staffing decisions and have a
key role in updating guidelines and setting agency priorities.
The EEOC currently has one vacancy, and the NLRB has two.

Despite being Obama appointees, Lipnic and Miscimarra have
routinely broken with their Democratic colleagues.

Miscimarra’s many dissents in NLRB cases since his
appointment in 2013 helped lay the foundation for claims by the
business community that under Obama, the board baldly favored
unions rather than promoting a balance between labor and

In 2012, Lipnic dissented in a landmark EEOC case in which
the commission ruled for the first time that discrimination
against gay workers is a form of unlawful sex bias.

She also objected to guidelines on pregnancy discrimination
released by the commission in 2014, and regulations published
the following year that made it easier for workers to sue for
age discrimination.

Lipnic, who worked at the U.S. Department of Labor under
President George W. Bush before joining the EEOC in 2010, said
in a statement that she was honored by the appointment.

“I believe equal employment opportunity is critical to all
Americans and to how we define ourselves as a nation,” she said.

Miscimarra in a separate statement said his goal was “to
foster stability and to apply the National Labor Relations Act
in an even-handed manner that serves the interests of employees,
employers and unions throughout the country.”

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