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Obama Makes Recess Appointments to National Labor Relations Board

President Obama announced his recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard Griffin.  Senate Republicans have opposed the recess appointments to the NLRB on constitutional grounds. 

Ms. Block is the current Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. Between 2006 and 2009, Ms. Block was Senior Labor and Employment Counsel for the Senate HELP Committee, where she worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Ms. Block previously served at the NLRB as senior attorney to Chairman Robert Battista from 2003 to 2006 and as an attorney in the appellate court branch from 1996 to 2003.

Mr. Flynn currently detailed to serve as Chief Counsel to NLRB Board Member Brian Hayes. Mr. Flynn was previously Chief Counsel to former NLRB Board Member Peter Schaumber, where he oversaw a variety of legal and policy issues in cases arising under the National Labor Relations Act.

Mr. Griffin is currently General Counsel for International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). He also serves on the board of directors for the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, a position he has held since 1994. Since 1983, he has held a number of leadership positions with IUOE from Assistant House Counsel to Associate General Counsel.

The last day of Member Craig Becker's service was Tuesday, Jan. 3. With the expiration of his appointment, the Board dropped to two members, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Member Brian E. Hayes. The Board was last at its full five-member strength in August of 2010.  At full five-member strength, the Board is likely to continue movement consistent with its recent efforts to streamline union elections and require new postings.  Businesses should work with their labor counsel to determine if they are compliant with current requirements and adequately plan for their future needs.

By: Justin A. Morocco

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