NLRB Back At Full Strength After Senate Approves Slate Of Nominees


As we reported earlier this month, Senate leaders reached a compromise to return a full complement of five members to the National Labor Relations Board after President Obama agreed to withdraw his February 2013 nominations of recess appointees Richard Griffin and Sharon Block and nominate a full slate of five Members to the Board.  Yesterday, the Senate confirmed all five nominees, marking the first time that the NLRB has carried five Senate-confirmed members since August 2003, when R. Alexander Acosta’s term expired.  Democrats Kent Hirowaza and Nancy Schiffer were confirmed by identical, nearly party-line 54-44 votes while Republicans Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson, III were confirmed by voice votes.  Current Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a Democrat, was reconfirmed by a 59-38 margin.

Chairman Pearce has served as NLRB Chairman since August 2011 and as a Member of the NLRB since March 2010.  Previously, Mr. Pearce was a founding partner of a union-side law firm in New York and worked as an attorney and district trial specialist for the NLRB in its Buffalo, New York, regional office.  Chairman Pearce’s term runs through August 27, 2018.

Member Hirozawa was chief counsel to Chairman Pearce. Before joining the NLRB staff in 2010, he was a partner in a labor-side law firm in New York City.  Mr. Hirozawa previously served as a field attorney for the NLRB from 1984 to 1986, and as a pro se law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1982 to 1984.  He was appointed to former Member Liebman’s seat, and his term expires on August 27, 2016.

Member Schiffer was Associate General Counsel to the AFL-CIO from 2000 to 2012, after spending nearly twenty years as Associate and later Deputy General Counsel at the UAW.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Schiffer was a staff attorney in the NLRB’s Detroit Regional Office and worked in private practice.  She fills former Member Becker’s seat, and her term will expire December 16, 2014.

Member Miscimarra was a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, a position he had held since 2005.  Mr. Miscimarra previously worked at Seyfarth Shaw LLP as a partner from 1990 to 2005 and as an associate from 1987 to 1989.  In June 2011, Mr. Miscimarra testified before a House panel, criticizing the NLRB’s issuance of a complaint against Boeing in an unfair labor practice proceeding involving the company’s decision to build a factory in South Carolina.  His term expires in December 2017.

Member Johnson, III was a partner in the Labor, Employment and OSHA practice group at Arent Fox LLP, a position he had held since 2010.  Previously, Mr. Johnson worked at Jones Day as a partner from 2006 to 2010 and as an associate from 1994 to 2005.  His term will end on August 27, 2015.

The White House has not made any official announcement about the fate of current Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, who was nominated two years ago but never confirmed by the Senate, or former Members Griffin (rumored to be Solomon’s replacement) and Block.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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