President Barack Obama reportedly has withdrawn former-National Labor Relations Board member Sharon Block’s nomination to the NLRB to replace Nancy Schiffer, whose term expires on December 16, 2014.  Obama instead will nominate Lauren McFerran, chief labor counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Block’s renomination earlier this year has met with significant Republican opposition — she was one of the three NLRB members whose January 2012 recess appointments were held to be invalid in the Supreme Court’s Noel Canning decision.   Block left the NLRB in August 2013.

It is unclear whether McFerran’s nomination will be taken up by the Senate before the 114th Congress is seated in 2015 with a Republican majority. The Democrats have the Senate votes to confirm a nominee until January 1, 2015.  However, commenters say the White House will reserve that strategy for more significant nominations, perhaps for Attorney General.   (Note that the GOP no longer has the filibuster rule to rely on to stop the majority from confirming a nomination.)

McFerran will need to be confirmed by the time Schiffer leaves the Board or there will be a 2-2 ideological tie.  It has been suggested that the Democrats will move quickly to confirm McFerran, even though the White House did not want to do that for Block.   The change in nominees may be something of an olive branch to the GOP, which has strenuously opposed Block, ostensibly because she did not resign when her recess appointment was called into doubt.

Since she is presently Chief Counsel for the Democratic-controlled HELP Committee, it is not a given that that committee will report favorably on her nomination once a Republican majority is seated in 2015.

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Photo of Howard M. Bloom Howard M. Bloom

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues. He trains and advises executives, managers and supervisors on union awareness and positive employee relations, and assists employers in connection with union card-signing efforts, traditional union representation and corporate campaigns, and union decertification campaigns. He also represents clients at the National Labor Relations Board in connection with bargaining unit issues, objections and challenges, as well as unfair labor practice investigations and trials. Mr. Bloom also has been the spokesperson at countless first and successor contract collective bargaining negotiations, and regularly advises on collective bargaining agreement administration issues, including grievance/arbitration issues.

Mr. Bloom has appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, several U.S. District Courts, the National Labor Relations Board, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Mr. Bloom speaks frequently to employer groups on a wide range of labor and employment law topics. He also has written extensively on labor and employment law for a variety of publications, including New England Business magazine, The Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal. He also is editor of and a frequent contributor to the Jackson Lewis Labor & Collective Bargaining Blog.

While attending law school, he was the Executive Editor of The Advocate: the Suffolk University Law School Journal and President of the Student Bar Association.

Mr. Bloom is a diehard baseball fan. His first book, The Baseball Uncyclopedia: A Highly Opinionated Myth-Busting Guide to the Great American Game, was published in February 2006.

Photo of Thomas V. Walsh Thomas V. Walsh

Tom Walsh is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He received a B.A., summa cum laude, from Long Island University and his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University. He is the author of “Recent Developments in the Weingarten Doctrine, The Board Shifts to the Right,” for the St. John’s University Journal of Legal Commentary. He is also co-author of the Atlantic Legal Foundation’s series “Leveling the Playing Field – What Charter School Leaders Need to Know About Union Organizing.” Mr. Walsh is a member of the New York State Bar Association and of the American Bar Association, and participates in the labor and employment law sections of both organizations.

Photo of Philip B. Rosen Philip B. Rosen

Philip B. Rosen is a Principal in the New York City office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Rosen also leads the firm’s Labor Practice Group. He joined the Firm in 1979 and served as Managing Partner of the New York City office from 1989 to 2009.

Mr. Rosen lectures extensively, conducts management training, and advises clients with respect to legislative and regulatory initiatives, corporate strategies, business ethics, social media, reorganizations and reductions-in-force, purchase/sale transactions, sexual harassment and other workplace conduct rules, compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, wrongful discharge and other workplace litigation, corporate campaigns and union organizing matters, collective bargaining, arbitration and National Labor Relations Board proceedings. He has been quoted by the press on many labor matters, including the National Labor Relations Board’s recent initiatives on protected concerted activity and the proposed Notice Posting requirements.