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News from EPI New report examines the NLRB during the Biden and Trump administrations: President Biden’s appointees have rolled back much of Trump’s anti-worker agenda but more work remains to be done

A new Economic Policy Institute report contrasts the actions of President Biden’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appointees with the Trump NLRB. The report finds that the Biden NLRB has made great progress undoing the Trump NLRB’s anti-worker actions and has taken additional measures to support workers’ organizing and bargaining rights.

President Biden has nominated experienced worker advocates to the NLRB—including General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo and NLRB members Gwynne Wilcox and David Prouty—and secured the largest increase in funding for the agency in nearly a decade. President Biden’s appointees have advanced the NLRB’s mission by addressing issues such as employee status under the law, the scope of concerted activity protected by the law, the representation process, and remedies for violations of the law. Further, the agency has reinvigorated its enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and expanded its outreach efforts to ensure that more workers can exercise their rights to a union and collective action with their co-workers.

The Trump administration, however, appointed corporate lawyers to the NLRB. A 2019 EPI report reviewed former President Trump’s NLRB appointees and found that they had systematically and dramatically eroded workers’ organizing and bargaining rights through decisions, rulemakings, and other actions, including hollowing out the agency by not filling vacancies.

“Given the vast difference between the Trump and Biden administrations’ records on workers’ rights, it should come as no surprise that the NLRB under the two presidents has been a study in stark contrasts. Whereas the Trump NLRB systematically rolled back workers’ rights, the Biden board has supported workers’ organizing and bargaining rights, which are at the core of what our labor law is designed to protect,” said Lynn Rhinehart, EPI senior fellow and co-author of the report. “The Biden administration must continue to push for additional funding and nominate experienced worker advocates for the agency to fulfill its mission.”