The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has voted to recommend Senate confirmation of Democrat Lauren McFerran, President Barack Obama’s recent nominee to the National Labor Relations Board. During the December 2 vote, McFerran’s nomination was supported by the 12 Democrats on the Committee and opposed by all 10 Republicans. According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Senate is expected to vote on the nomination within the “next couple of days,” and thus, before the GOP takes control of the Senate in 2015.
McFerran has been the Chief Labor Counsel for the Committee since 2010. She also was Senior Labor Counsel for Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and former Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Prior to that, she was an associate at a Washington, D.C. law firm specializing in the representation of public- and private-sector labor organizations and related institutions.
If confirmed by the full Senate, McFerran will replace Nancy J. Schiffer (D), whose appointment is set to expire December 16, 2014. It is worth noting that McFerran’s present position was previously held by former Board Member Sharon Block, whose association with Kennedy was the reason the GOP members initially opposed her nomination. Employers should expect that her views will be similar to Member Schiffer’s pro-labor outlook.