Griffin Confirmed as NLRB General Counsel

October 30, 2013

pic-nlrb-laborNearly two years after first being named by President Barack Obama to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Richard F. Griffin Jr. was confirmed by the Senate (55-44) on Tuesday, Oct. 29 to serve as the NLRB’s general counsel.

Griffin’s role with the NLRB has remained a point of contention since he was first nominated as one of three recess appointments to the board on Jan. 4, 2012. Although he technically served on the board for over a year, it was later found by the D.C. Appeals Court that, because the Senate was operating pursuant to a unanimous consent agreement at the time of the appointments, the President’s recess appointments to the NLRB were not constitutionally valid. The lawsuit is still ongoing and will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court with a decision expected May or June of 2014.

Following the aforementioned lawsuit and Congressional agreements to withdraw certain nominees and offer up new NLRB nominees, the Senate confirmed the new spate of five nominees in July—of which Griffin was not included. Griffin, a former union lawyer, has been seen by opponents to his nomination as pro-union and not someone who will represent the interests of business and unions without bias.

Griffin will now serve for the coming four years as NLRB’s general counsel and will oversee the process for determining which disputes are heard by the full board, as well as any investigations and prosecutions in which the NLRB is involved.