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30 Jul 2013 Strike One, Strike Two: The NLRB Knocks Down Another Confidentiality Policy

Employers suffered another blow late last week when an ALJ struck down Boeing’s confidentiality policy (strike one) and a revised confidentiality policy (strike two).  Boeing’s initial policy “directed” witnesses in HR investigations not to discuss the investigated matter with co-workers (limiting the discussion to investigators and union representatives). The ALJ struck down the initial policy based upon the Board’s relatively recent decision in Banner Estrella Medical Center. However, more troubling, was the ALJ striking down the company’s revised policy…

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26 Jul 2013 Obama Slides Griffin Over to Vacant GC Slot

Somewhat underreported was the nomination of disputed NLRB Member recess appointee Richard F. Griffin, Jr.  to be the NLRB’s new General Counsel.  President Obama withdrew Griffin’s nomination to be a Member of the NLRB as part of a deal with Senate Republican’s last week. If confirmed, Griffin would fill the slot currently occupied by Lafe Solomon as Acting General Counsel. Solomon was most well known for having signed off on the controversial complaint issued against Boeing for…

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26 Jul 2013 New Obama NLRB Nominations of Hirozawa, Schiffer and Gaston Pearce Making Progress In The Senate

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed for cloture on the nominations of Kent Hirozawa, Nancy Schiffer and Mark Gaston Pearce to the NLRB, and a nominee to the FBI. If cloture is successful, there will be up to 8 hours of debate time on each nomination before a vote is taken on the nomination.  The cloture vote on the FBI nominee is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 29, 2013.  Upon disposition of each nomination, the…

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25 Jul 2013 Senate HELP Committee Questions NLRB Nominees

On Tuesday, July 23, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee held a public hearing to question the President’s NLRB nominees, Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa. C-Span’s coverage of the full hearing can be found here. Written statements from the nominees can be found on the HELP Committee’s web site here. John KoenigJohn T.L. Koenig is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He maintains a national, full-service…

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23 Jul 2013 From the Frying Pan Into the Fire?

The other shoe is about to drop on the deal that allowed Sen. Harry Reid to step away from his threat to take the “nuclear” option in Senate. The Huffington Post is reporting today that former Board member Richard Griffin, who according to some got thrown under the bus along with fellow board member Sharon Block as part of that deal, is expected to be nominated as the next General Counsel of the NLRB. Lest we…

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19 Jul 2013 Three’s a Crowd: Third United States Court of Appeals Decision Strikes Down President Obama’s January 2012 Recess Appointments

In another groundbreaking decision against the NLRB, the Fourth Circuit has followed the D.C. and Third Circuits’ reasoning in Noel Canning and New Vista Nursing and Rehabilitation regarding presidential recess appointments and as a consequence, has found President Obama’s January 2012 appointments invalid. In its consolidated opinion, the Court noted the following: “[W]e agree with the Noel Canning and New Vista Nursing courts that the term ‘the Recess,’ as used in the Recess Appointments Clause,…

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18 Jul 2013 CWA President Bashes Senate’s “Nuclear” Compromise

As pointed out by our colleagues Scott Witlin and John Koenig in articles below, the effect on employers arising out of the Senate’s compromise will turn on who the new appointees to the NLRB are. We now know that both of the Democratic nominees are solid pro-Union selections – the former Associate General Counsel for the AFL-CIO and the former Chief Counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce. Yet, the prospect of restoring the Board to its…

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18 Jul 2013 Obama’s New NLRB Nominees and <i>Noel Canning</i>

As we previously reported, a deal has been struck to avoid the so-called “nuclear option” of changing the body’s filibuster rules in exchange for President Obama withdrawing the re-nomination of two current members who originally were installed through controversial recess appointments. As we reported here, the United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the controversy over these recess appointments. The case the Court agreed to hear is NLRB v. Noel Canning. The President’s new nominations will be Nancy…

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17 Jul 2013 President Obama Consults with Trumka on New NLRB Nominees

Politico and other media outlets are reporting that President Obama’s administration consulted with AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka to come up with his two replacement nominees for the NLRB. This came about as part of a Senate deal to avoid the so-called “nuclear option” of changing the body’s filibuster rules in exchange for the President withdrawing the re-nomination of two current members who were originally installed through controversial recess appointments. Politico’s story can be found here. The President’s…

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16 Jul 2013 Is Nuclear Peace Treaty Near? – UPDATED

UPDATE: The Washington Post is now reporting that Senate leaders have reached a compromise. The Washington Post’s story can be found here.  As we reported last week, the Senate has been headed toward a showdown over President Obama’s nominees to the NLRB that have been held up by Senate Republicans. It now appears that a deal that will save the filibuster may be at hand. Numerous sources report Senators are “close” to a deal that would…

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