Obama’s three NLRB recess appointments were invalid, Supreme Court rules

June 26, 2014 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

On June 26, 2014, the U.S Supreme Court unanimously upheld the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Noel Canning v. NLRB, concluding that President Barack Obama’s three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, and Terence Flynn—were not valid.  Accordingly, since three out of the five members were invalidly appointed, the NLRB lacked a quorum.  That means Board decisions, including union-friendly rulings on social media, confidentiality rules, and off-duty employee access to the workplace, are now affected and likely invalid

In January 2012, President Obama filled three vacancies on the NLRB while the Senate was on its 20-day holiday break. Republicans objected to the president’s appointments, claiming the Senate wasn’t in recess because it was holding pro forma sessions every few days.

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NLRB invites briefs on case concerning use of employer’s e-mail system

May 05, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is inviting interested parties to file briefs in a case that could overrule a decision that allows employers to restrict employees’ use of their electronic communication systems.

On April 30, the NLRB issued its decision in Purple Communications, Inc. That decision notes that on October 24, 2013, an administrative law judge (ALJ) dismissed an allegation that Purple Communications violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by prohibiting the use of its electronic equipment and e-mail system for activity that was not related to business purposes.

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NLRB to review Northwestern University football ruling

April 24, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

On April 24, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it will review a regional director’s decision that Northwestern University’s scholarship football players are employees who are eligible to unionize.

The Board’s announcement came one day before a secret-ballot election, which will go on as scheduled. The NLRB said the ballots will be impounded until it affirms, modifies, or reverses the decision.

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Northwestern’s appeal of football ruling claims NLRB ignored evidence

April 10, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Northwestern University’s appeal of a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling claims an NLRB regional director ignored evidence that the school’s scholarship football players are students—not employees—and relied too much on the testimony of a single player.

On April 9, the private university located in Evanston, Illinois, asked the full NLRB to review and overturn the March 26 ruling by NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr. That ruling said the university’s scholarship football players are employees and are therefore eligible to vote on union representation. The NLRB has set a union election for April 25. The Board may postpone the election in light of the appeal, but it doesn’t have to.

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NLRB resurrects proposal on speeding up union elections

February 05, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is reprising its 2011 effort to change the rules related to union representation—an effort that sparked opposition from employers then and will surely do so again.

A statement from the NLRB says that in substance, the proposed amendments are identical to the representation procedure changes first put forth in June 2011. The proposed amendments were struck down in 2012 when a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., cited the lack of an NLRB quorum.

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Senate ready to take up NLRB nominations

July 25, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The full Senate is expected to vote on all five nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) within the next few days, a move that could give the NLRB its full membership confirmed by the Senate for the first time in more than a decade.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing on the nominations of Democrats Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer on July 23, and on July 24, it voted 13-9 to send their nominations to the full Senate.

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High court agrees to hear NLRB recess appointments case

June 24, 2013 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal in Noel Canning v. NLRB.

In the Noel Canning case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that three of President Barack Obama’s so-called recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were unconstitutional. Without the three appointees, the Board lacked a necessary quorum to act. Thus, the D.C. Circuit’s ruling raised questions about the validity of hundreds of NLRB actions, including union-friendly decisions on social media, confidentiality rules, and off-duty employees’ access to workplaces.

The U.S. Constitution provides that the Senate must consent to the president’s nominees to federal agencies. The Constitution gives the president the authority to fill vacancies that “may happen” during the Senate’s recess that “shall expire at the end of the next session.”

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Another NLRB recess appointment ruled invalid

May 20, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Nearly four months after an appeals court ruled that recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made in 2012 were invalid, another appellate court has ruled a previous recess appointment unconstitutional.

The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled May 16 in NLRB v. New Vista Nursing & Rehab. that President Barack Obama’s 2010 recess appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB was invalid. Becker, a Democrat, served on the Board from April 5, 2010, through January 3, 2012.

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Obama urges swift confirmation of new NLRB nominees

April 09, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), crippled by a January court ruling against two recess appointees, has the potential to get back to full strength if the Senate confirms nominations President Barack Obama made April 9. Previous attempts to fill the NLRB have failed over congressional opposition to Board actions and Obama’s nominees.

On April 9, Obama nominated Republicans Harry I. Johnson, III, and Philip A. Miscimarra along with Democrat Mark Gaston Pearce. Pearce is the current NLRB chair. His term is set to expire August 27. Johnson and Miscimarra are both management-side employment attorneys.

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NLRB wants Supreme Court review of recess appointments decision

March 14, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced on March 12 it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision that says the appointment of two Board members is invalid.

In consultation with the Justice Department, the NLRB said it intends to file a petition by the April 25 deadline for Supreme Court review.

On January 25, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in Noel Canning v. NLRB that President Barack Obama acted unconstitutionally when he made three recess appointments to the Board on January 4, 2012.

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