Less than three weeks after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declared their recess appointments invalid, President Obama has again nominated Richard Griffin (D) and Sharon Block (D) to serve on the NLRB. In the names he sent to the Senate last week, however, President Obama did not include any Republicans for two other vacancies that exist at the NLRB. Historically, the NLRB’s membership has included three members of the President’s party and two members from the other party. Currently, the three members of the NLRB are all Democrats.
Given the lack of Republican nominees, it seems unlikely that the President’s nominations will be acted upon by the Senate anytime soon. Without Senate action, the cloud of uncertainty the Court of Appeals ruling created will continue to hang over the NLRB’s actions. Indeed, the Supreme Court has declined to get involved in the recess appointment question since the Court of Appeals’ decision, although the Supreme Court’s actions occurred in different cases and in different contexts.
What is a labor professional to do? One thing is for certain, the NLRB believes it is business as usual.