On Oct. 16, despite the government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion to continue with the consideration of Richard Griffin Jr. as the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. The Senate is now set to vote on this appointment on Monday, Oct. 28th.

The move hopefully marks progress for the NLRB, which has had a number of false starts in 2013.  The appointment of the previous GC of the NLRB was ruled invalid in August, and efforts to replace the sitting GC have been slow. The invalidation followed a case in which the NLRB sought an injunction against an employer, the call for injunction was denied and, through further decisions in the case, GC Lafe Solomon’s appointment was ruled invalid.

Solomon had been appointed under a provision of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, however further stipulations of the act would only allow for his appointment had he served as Deputy General Counsel or first assistant. Since Solomon had not held either of those offices previously his appointment, which circumvented standard practices, was ruled invalid.

The invalidation of this appointment raises a number of concerns about the rulings that took place during Solomon’s tenure.

The move to proceed to final consideration of Griffin’s nomination, while a good sign for the NLRB, may also be marred with barriers. Griffin held another recess appointment post that was invalidated, and is said to be an unpopular choice in the business community.

If elected Griffin is expected to continue Solomon’s largely pro-union course, using the power of the General Counsel to bring to trial cases that will have far ranging implications for union power.

The senate hearing will take place Monday, Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m., EST. InsideCounsel will have more on this story when that decision has been made.


For more on the NLRB and background on these stories check out these stories:

Newly confirmed labor board faces challenges as it seeks to extend union rights

Solomon’s Successor

Labor: Illinois employers face firearms obligations and choices

Labor: Failure to complain insulates employers from harassment claims