Person

David Prouty

Nationality:

American

Profession:

Union lawyer, NLRB member

David Prouty is a labor union attorney who sits as a Democratic member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Prior to his appointment by President Joe Biden, he worked as general counsel for Service Employees International Union 32BJ.

He previously worked for AFSCME, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Workers (UNITE), the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, Unite Here, and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Early Life and Education

David Prouty has said that he “grew up around the labor movement.” His father was a machinist in an aircraft factory who led unionization efforts under the United Auto Workers. He later worked in the administrations of numerous unions. [1]

Prouty graduated from Bowdoin College in 1980 with a double major in economics and government, and from Harvard Law School in 1986. [2]

Career

David Prouty began his career while at Bowdoin College working for the government worker union AFSCME as a public policy analyst and organizer. [3] After graduating from law school in 1986, Prouty joined the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Workers (UNITE) and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU), for which he did legal work on National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cases. In 2001, Prout became general counsel of UNITE. [4]

From 1997-1999, Prouty was on the NLRB’s union advisory panel. [5]

From 2001-2005, Prouty was on the board of directors of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Advisory Panel and the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee. [6]

In 2002, Prouty joined the board of advisors of the Peggy Browning Fund, a non-profit which supports the careers of pro-union lawyers. Prouty remains on the board to this day. [7]

In 2004, Prouty oversaw the legal aspects of the merger between UNITE and the Hotel Employees Restaurant and Employees Union (HERE) to form Unite Here, and became the new union’s general counsel. [8]

In 2008, Prouty became chief labor counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association. He was promoted to general counsel in 2013. [9]

From 2014-2018, Prouty was on the board of directors of the Sports Lawyers Association. [10]

In 2018, Prouty became general counsel of the Service Employees International Union 32BJ, the nation’s largest local union of property service workers, with over 150,000 members. [11]

National Labor Relations Board

In July 2021, David Pouty and fellow union-side labor attorney Gwynne Wilcox were confirmed as President Joe Biden’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board. The appointments signaled a shift in the NLRB toward pro-union policies and gave Democrats a 3-2 majority on the board. Prouty assumed his seat in August. [12]

In October 2021, the right-of-center National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRWLDF) asked the NLRB’s ethics officials to bar newly-appointed board members Prouty and Wilcox from issuing judgements on a pending case regarding joint employer regulations. The traditional interpretation of joint employment regulations outlined a narrow definition of “joint employment” which tended to shield companies from liability under some labor regulations in cases where multiple companies could be said to influence the employment conditions the same individual simultaneously. [13]

The NRWLDF argued that both Prouty and Wilcox had conflicts of interest with the ongoing case. Prouty was the general counsel of a local union of the SEIU, which is leading the legal challenge, and Wilcox is a member of Levy Ratner, a labor law firm working on the case who has also worked for SEIU affiliates. Both Prouty and Wilcox included SEIU affiliates on their recusal lists when undergoing review for the positions but not the national SEIU. [14]

References

  1. “Interview with the General Counsel for Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA) Dave Prouty.” JSEL. September 20, 2016. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://harvardjsel.com/2016/09/interview-with-the-general-counsel-for-major-league-baseball-players-association-mlbpa-dave-prouty/. ^
  2. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  3. “Interview with the General Counsel for Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA) Dave Prouty.” JSEL. September 20, 2016. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://harvardjsel.com/2016/09/interview-with-the-general-counsel-for-major-league-baseball-players-association-mlbpa-dave-prouty/. ^
  4. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  5. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  6. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  7. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  8. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  9. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  10. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  11. “Resume.” LinkedIn. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-prouty-231174200/. ^
  12. “US Department of Labor Announces Final Rule To Rescind March 2020 Joint Employer Rule, Ensure More Workers Minimum Wage, Overtime Protections.” U.S. Department of Labor. July 29, 2021. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20210729-0. ^
  13. Iafolla, Robert. “NLRB Pressured to Remove Biden Picks From Joint Employer Case.” Bloomberg Law. October 8, 2021. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/nlrb-pressured-to-remove-biden-picks-from-joint-employer-case. ^
  14. Iafolla, Robert. “NLRB Pressured to Remove Biden Picks From Joint Employer Case.” Bloomberg Law. October 8, 2021. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/nlrb-pressured-to-remove-biden-picks-from-joint-employer-case. ^
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