Wyatt Employment Law Report

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NLRB Members Griffin and Block to be Replaced as Part of Filibuster Deal

By Edwin S. Hopson

Politico.com and other media are reporting that on July 16, 2013, as part of the agreement to resolve the deadlock over possibly changing the filibuster rules in the Senate, Democrats in consultation with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka agreed that Recess-Appointee Members Richard Griffin and Sharon Block of the NLRB would be removed and replaced by Nancy Schiffer, former Associate General Counsel at the AFL-CIO, and Kent Hirozawa, currently Chief Counsel to NLRB Chairman, Mark Pearce.  A hearing is to be scheduled the week of July 22 before the Senate HELP Committee to approve Schiffer and Hirozawa.  The GOP also agreed not to block the nominee for an opening next year on the NLRB. 

This agreement does not affect the pending case before the Supreme Court in Noel Canning v. NLRB regarding the validity of the President’s recess appointments to the NLRB in January 2012.

See http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/white-house-consults-with-afl-cio-head-on-nlrb-picks-94280.html#ixzz2ZJKIhWik

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AFGE Sues Obama Administration Over Shutdown Plans

By Edwin S. Hopson

In a press release issued today, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents many federal workers, announced that it had filed a lawsuit in federal court on March 30, 2011, against the Obama Administration seeking information regarding the federal government’s plans for a shutdown.  The union on March 2, 2011, had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Office of Management and Budget for those details but the government did not respond.  Specifically, AFGE seeks all federal government department and agency contingency plans in the event of a shutdown.

 AFGE President John Gage in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, stated: 

 “The specter of a person being compelled to work without pay, under threat of legal sanctions, should have ended in this country over a century and a half ago.  And yet, the federal government is poised to demand that tens of thousands of federal workers report for duty without compensation or be fired for not showing up.  If there is a government shutdown, that is what will happen to ‘essential’ employees, although the government still refuses to provide any details.”

 A shutdown will occur if the Congress fails to pass legislation to fund government operations after April 8, 2011. In that event, AFGE President Gage is nevertheless urging his members to report to work.

The Office of Personnel Management has posted guidance to agencies which states, in part: 

“Federal agencies do not have the authority to pay their employees during a shutdown, regardless of whether the employees are working as ‘excepted’ or furloughed as ‘non-excepted.’ ‘Excepted’ employees will receive pay for hours worked when the Congress passes and the President signs a new appropriation or continuing resolution. Congress will also determine whether ‘non-excepted’ employees will receive pay for the furlough period.”


AFGE President Gage, according to a report published on Politico’s website, threatens to sue the federal government if federal workers are forced to work without pay during a shutdown.  Also according to a report in Politico, the White House has stated that some 800,000 federal employees would be furloughed in the event of a shutdown.