On Sunday, Brian Hayes’ term on the National Labor Relations Board expired. Hayes was the lone Republican appointee to the Board and his dissenting opinions offered insightful thought and reasoning to cases before the Board. Member Hayes’ dissents are more often in line with the business community and often helped shape employers’ views on labor law. After Sunday, however, this minority voice will not be heard as the Board goes to only three members, all of which are aligned to carry out big labor’s agenda. Dissent and diversity of opinion will be absent, but big labor’s voice will certainly be heard loud and clear through the Board.
It is not likely the President will rush to appoint a Republican Member to the Board anytime soon, and so the Board can simply churn out opinions and issue rules constructed by the behind-the-scenes influence of the unions. Although hearing only one side of labor issues will be welcomed by some, people should keep in mind there are two sides to every story and the legal system, whether at the highest court in the land or at an administrative board, works best when the other side is heard through a dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, this will be lost at the Board and lost to employers, where there is most impact.