For the first time in a decade, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has a fully-confirmed five-member board. On July 30, the United States Senate confirmed all five of President Obama’s nominees.
Prior to that vote, the NLRB had been operating with only three members, two of which were “recess appointments.”
Because of the manner in which these and other NLRB recess appointments were made, the legitimacy and decisions of the board have been called into question. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the appointments after lower courts found the Senate wasn’t technically in recess at the time the appointments were made.
The new members of the board included three democrats – Mark Pearce (chairman), Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer – and two republicans – Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III.
With a democratic majority, the Board is expected to continue a pro-labor position both in rulemaking and in handing down decisions. Look for a resurgence of election rules that dramatically shorten the time period in which employers can conduct pre-election educational campaigns and a revived effort to require employers to post notices in the workplace regarding employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
About the Author
Carrie Roelle, an attorney at Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn, LLP, in Evansville, Indiana, is a member of the KDDK Labor and Employment Law Practice Team and the Litigation and Trial Services Practice Team. Carrie defends employers before state and federal courts, as well as various administrative agencies, in matters involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, interference, and retaliation. In addition to litigation, she participates in counseling employers on employment issues they face each day, including wage and hour compliance, disability issues, workplace policies, and litigation avoidance.