Wyatt Employment Law Report


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Senate Committee Approves President’s Nominations to the NLRB

By Edwin S. Hopson

On May 22, 2013, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions voted to approve the nominations of Mark Pearce, Richard Griffin, Sharon Block, Harry Johnson, and Phillip Miscimarra to be Members of the National Labor Relations Board.  The committee vote for Johnson and Misimarra, both Republicans, was 22 to 0 in favor.  The vote for Pearce, the current Chairman of the Board, whose term expires in August, 2013, was 18 to 4 in favor.  The votes for Griffin and Block, both of whom are Democrats and currently serving as Board Members, were 13 to 9 in favor.  Several Republican Senators voiced opposition to Griffin and Block based on the fact that their recess appointments were held to be invalid by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Noel Canning v. NLRB case, and they have continued to serve on the Board.


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Senate Committee Approves Perez to be Secretary of Labor and Holds Hearing on NLRB Nominees

By Edwin S. Hopson

On May 16, 2013, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 12 to 10 along party lines in favor of Thomas Perez’ nomination to be Secretary of Labor. 

The committee also on that date held a hearing on the five nominations by President Obama to the National labor Relations Board.  A vote by the committee on the NLRB nominations is expected on May 22, 2013.  It can be anticipated that Republican senators will oppose the Perez nomination, and several of the nominations to the NLRB once the Democrat majority seeks to move for a vote by the entire Senate on these nominations.


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Senate Committee to Hold Executive Session on Thomas Perez’ Nomination to Labor Secretary

By Edwin S. Hopson

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions has announced it is going to conduct an executive session on May 8, 2013, starting at 10 a.m. on the nomination of Thomas Perez to be U.S. Secretary of Labor.  A number of Republican Senators have voiced possible opposition to Perez’ nomination.  Since the Democrats constitute the majority on the HELP committee, it is assumed that Perez’ nomination will ultimately be voted favorably out of committee.


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Senate Committee to Hold a Hearing on NLRB Nominees

By Edwin S. Hopson

On May 16, 2013, the full U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions will conduct a hearing on the pending nominations to be Members on the National Labor Relations Board.  Currently, there are five nominations pending for the five-member board. They are for:

●Curent Chairman Mark Pearce, for another term (his current term expires in August, 2013);

●Current Member, Richard Griffin, who is serving a recess appointment;

●Current Member, Sharon Block, who is also serving a recess appointment;

●Harry Johnson, a recent nominee who is a Republican; and

●Phillip Miscimarra, a recent nominee who is also a Republican. 

Griffin and Block’s recess appointments have been under fire after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Noel Canning v. NLRB in January 2013 that they were invalid.


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Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on President’s Nominee for Secretary of Labor

By Edwin S. Hopson

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions will hold a hearing on April 18, 2013, regarding President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez.  Perez is currently the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and formerly served as Maryland’s Secretary of Labor.  A number of Republican Senators have voiced concern about Perez’ nomination.


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Senate to Debate Resolution That Would Block NLRB’s New Election Rules Meant to Speed Up the Union Election Process

By Edwin S. Hopson

On April 20, 2012, Republican U.S. Senator  Mike Enzi of Wyoming, the ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, announced that it was expected that the full Senate on April 23 and 24 will debate S.J. Res 36, which seeks to invalidate the NLRB’s regulation that would speed up the union representation election process.  The NLRB’s proposed rule is scheduled to go into effect April 30, 2012. 

Under the Congressional Review Act, if the Senate and House pass a resolution of disapproval of a federal agency regulation, that action nullifies the regulation.  As to the Senate, the law provides that such resolutions are not subject to filibuster and need only a simple majority to pass.  According to a press release issued by Senator Enzi, 44 Republican members of the Senate are already supporting the resolution.  It would appear, that if the resolution passes the Senate, that the Republican-dominated House of Representatives would also pass the resolution.


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Senate Confirms Patricia Smith to be Solicitor of Labor

By Edwin S. Hopson

On February 4, 2010, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Patricia Smith to be Solicitor of Labor by a vote of 60 to 37.  A vote had been held on February 1 to end a filibuster on Smith’s nomination by Senate Republicans.

The New York Times reported today that some Republican Senators complained that Smith’s nomination was rushed through before Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts (R) was sworn in eliminating the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority.