Employment Law Report

President Obama Sends NLRB Nominations to the Senate

By Edwin S. Hopson

On February 13, 2012, President Obama formally sent to the U.S. Senate the nominations of Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, and Terence Flynn to be members of the National Labor Relations Board.  He had recess-appointed them on January 4, 2012.  Assuming Senate confirmation, which is not likely to occur this year, Block’s term would expire December 16, 2014, Griffin’s term would expire August 27, 2016, andFlynn’s term would expire August 27, 2015.  Block and Griffin are Democrats and Flynn is a Republican.

The controversy continues over the validity of these recess appointments to the NLRB with critics claiming that the President lacked authority to make the appointments because the Senate had been in “pro forma” sessions.  The issue may ultimately have to be resolved by the courts.

Should the President lose the court fight, all decisions issued by the NLRB since January 4, 2012, would be invalid for lack of a quorum on the Board.