Federal Appellate Court Holdings Strike Down (and Uphold) Decisions by the Two-Member NLRB


Since January 2008, the National Labor Relations Board (the "Board") has had only two (out of five) active members. Despite this apparent lack of a quorum, the Board has issued final decisions in approximately 400 cases. The authority of the two-member Board to issue decisions was challenged in many cases and has recently been addressed in three federal appellate court decisions: Laurel Baye Healthcare v. NLRB, No. 08-1162 (D.C. Cir. May 1, 2009), New Process Steel v. NLRB, No. 08-3517 (7th Cir. May 1, 2009), and Northeastern Land Services v. NLRB, 560 F.3d 36 (1st Cir. 2009). These opinions, however, do not resolve the issue of the two-member Board's authority to rule on pending cases because the D. C. Circuit struck down the Board's authority to do so and the Seventh Circuit and First Circuit upheld it. Moreover, the same issue has been raised in two cases still pending before the Second and Eighth Circuits.

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