CHA News Article

Senate Confirms 5 Appointments to the National Labor Relations Board

Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate confirmed five members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Without this action, the NLRB would have lost its quorum of three members late next month, jeopardizing its ability to function. All five new members will serve for the remainder of President Obama’s term. The new board includes:

  • Democrat Mark Pearce (NLRB chair since 2011 and former attorney representing unions in private practice);
  • Democrat Kent Hirozawa (chief counsel to Mark Pearce);
  • Democrat Nancy Schiffer (a long-time union attorney, who has worked for AFL-CIO and UAW);
  • Republican Phil Miscimarra (labor attorney representing management and a partner with Morgan Lewis); and
  • Republican Harry Johnson (labor attorney representing management and a partner with Arent Fox).

These confirmations ensure the NLRB is staffed with valid appointments and that its actions are valid going forward. However, the appointments do not resolve the issues raised in the Noel-Canning case, now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. If that decision is upheld, all of the  NLRB’s decisions and appointments from at least Jan. 3, 2012, will be invalidated.

Moreover, although there is now a fully staffed NLRB, the new board will have a tremendous backlog of cases, in addition to handling its current case volume. Nonetheless, with the Democrat majority in place, the NLRB is expected to renew its agenda of vigorously expanding board jurisdiction into issues such as internal investigations and social media policies, and to make new attempts at rulemaking on expedited election procedures.