The White House has added to the controversy surrounding the National Labor Relations Board and its recent actions by announcing the President intended to make three recess appointments to the agency. Despite the recent request of 47 Republican Senators to President Barack Obama to refrain from making recess appointments between the Sessions of Congress, it was announced that the President would do just that. On January 4, the White House Press Secretary said the President would nominate Sharon Block, Terence F. Flynn and Richard Griffin to fill the three empty seats on the NLRB. They would join Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Member Brian E. Hayes, giving Democrats a 3-2 majority on the Board. With the end of Member Craig Becker’s recess appointment on January 3, the Board now lacks a quorum to make decisions.
Ms. Block, a Democrat, is presently Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Congressional and Inter-Governmental Affairs. Mr. Flynn, a Republican, has been serving as Chief Counsel to Member Hayes. Mr. Griffin, also a Democrat, is General Counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Legal challenges to the expected recess appointments reportedly are being considered by members of the Senate and others upset over the President’s action.
The recess appointees could serve until December 2014.
For more information on this development, see our article, NLRB Appointments Spur More Controversy as New Year Begins.