Wyatt Employment Law Report


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Griffin Confirmed by the Senate to be NLRB General Counsel

By Edwin S. Hopson

After a successful cloture vote on October 29, 2013, the Senate conducted a roll call vote on the nomination of Richard Griffin, Jr. to be General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board.  He was confirmed by a vote of 55 to 44.  Once sworn in, Griffin will take over from Lafe Solomon who has been Acting General Counsel since June 2010. Griffin was previously general counsel of a major labor union, and one of the Board Members whose recess appointment was challenged in, among other cases, Noel Canning v. NLRB, which is pending in the Supreme Court.  Griffin’s appointment to the NLRB was withdrawn by the President in a deal this summer to install a fully confirmed Board.


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Griffin Nomination to be NLRB General Counsel Moves Forward in Senate

By Edwin S. Hopson

On October 29, 2013, the Senate, in a vote of 62 to 37, invoked cloture on the nomination of Richard Griffin, Jr., to be General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board.  This vote clears the way for his confirmation since clearly a majority of Senators favor his appointment.


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Griffin’s Nomination to be NLRB General Counsel to be Voted on by Senate

By Edwin S. Hopson

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, has placed the nomination of Richard Griffin, Jr. to be General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board on the Senate’s Executive Calendar for October 28, 2013, at which time there will be up to one hour of debate, equally divided, on the nomination.  His nomination was previously approved by the Senate HELP Committee, generally along party lines.  If confirmed, Griffin’s term will be for four years.


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Full Complement of Five Members Assume Office at the NLRB

By Edwin S. Hopson

On August 12, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board announced that, for the first time since August 21, 2003, it has a full complement of five Senate-confirmed Members.  The last of four new members, Harry Johnson, III, was sworn in on August 12, 2013. NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce was also confirmed last month to an additional five year term on the NLRB.

Chairman, Mark Pearce has served as a Member of the NLRB since March 2010. His new term ends August 27, 2018.  Pearce is a Democrat.

New Member Nancy Schiffer’s term ends December 16, 2014.  She is also a Democrat.

New Member Kent Hirozawa’s term ends August 27, 2016.  He is a Democrat.

New Member Harry I. Johnson, III’s term ends August 27, 2015.  He is a Republican.

New Member Philip A. Miscimarra’s term ends December 16, 2017.  He also is a Republican.


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Former Recess-Appointed NLRB Member Griffin Nominated to be NLRB General Counsel

By Edwin S. Hopson

On August 1, 2013, President Obama nominated Richard Griffin to be General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board.  Griffin was one of the NLRB recess-appointed Members whose nomination was withdrawn by the President as part of the filibuster deal in mid-July.  The other recess-appointed NLRB Member, SharonBlock, whose nomination was also withdrawn, has been appointed as senior counselor to U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, according to an article in today’s New York Times.  Lafe Solomon continues to be Acting General Counsel at the NLRB.


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NLRB Nominees Hirozawa and Schiffer Are Approved By the Senate HELP Committee

By Edwin S. Hopson

On July 24, 2013, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held an executive session to discuss and vote on the President’s recent nominations of Democrats Kent Yoshiho Hirozawa and NancyJeanSchiffer to be Members of the National Labor Relations Board.  Hirozawa is currently Chief Counsel to NLRB Chairman Pearce.  Schiffer was most recently Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO.

Ranking Member Alexander (R-TN) voiced objections to both nominees, opining that he doubted their impartiality.  He also noted that some outstanding written questions to the two nominees remained to be answered.   On motion of Committee Chairman Harkin (D-Iowa) to report the two nominations favorably out of committee, both nominations were approved by a vote of 13 to 9. 

Harkin also agreed that the record should remain open for the consideration of answers to the outstanding questions, and stated that he expected a vote on the nominations by the full Senate during the week of July 29.


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NLRB Nominations Considered by the Senate HELP Committee

By Edwin S. Hopson

As part of the agreement regarding the Senate filibuster rules, on July 23, 2013, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held about a two hour hearing on the President’s recent nominations of Kent Yoshiho Hirozawa and Nancy Jean Schiffer to be Members of the National Labor Relations Board.  Both faced stiff questioning from Republican Senators on the Committee.  On July 24, 2013, the Committee is scheduled to vote on the nominations, to be followed by a vote by the full Senate later in the week on the nominations of Hirozawa, Schiffer and current NLRB Chairman, Mark Pearce.  It is not clear whether the full Senate will also vote on the confirmation of Republicans Harry Johnson and Philip Miscamarra, whose nominations were earlier favorably voted out of committee.