Yesterday, the President announced the nominations of two individuals to serve as Members  of the National Labor Relations Board. It remains to be seen whether the Senate will confirm these nominations, or the nomination of Terence Flynn to fill the other Republican seat. Absent confirmation or a recess appointment of one or more nominees, the Board will start 2012 with only two Members and be unable to issue decisions under the Supreme Court’s ruling in New Process Steel.

Click here to read the White House’s statement announcing the nominations. The biographies of the two nominees from the announcement are as follows:

Sharon Block, Nominee for Member, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Sharon Block is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor.  Between 2006 and 2009, Ms. Block was Senior Labor and Employment Counsel for the Senate HELP Committee, where she worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Ms. Block previously served at the National Labor Relations Board as senior attorney to Chairman Robert Battista from 2003 to 2006 and as an attorney in the appellate court branch from 1996 to 2003.  From 1994 to 1996, she was Assistant General Counsel at the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from 1991 to 1993, she was an associate at Steptoe & Johnson.  She received a B.A. in History from Columbia University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where she received the John F. Kennedy Labor Law Award.

Richard Griffin, Nominee for Member, National Labor Relations Board
Richard Griffin is the General Counsel for International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).  He also serves on the board of directors for the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, a position he has held since 1994.  Since 1983, he has held a number of leadership positions with IUOE from Assistant House Counsel to Associate General Counsel.   From 1985 to 1994, Mr. Griffin served as a member of the board of trustees of the IUOE’s central pension fund.  From 1981 to 1983, he served as a Counsel to NLRB Board Members.  Mr. Griffin holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

We will continue to monitor and report on this issue.

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Photo of Justin Keith Justin Keith

Justin F. Keith represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law—including litigation of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, reductions in force, and numerous other personnel and workplace issues—before state and federal agencies and in courts throughout the country.

He is experienced…

Justin F. Keith represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law—including litigation of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, reductions in force, and numerous other personnel and workplace issues—before state and federal agencies and in courts throughout the country.

He is experienced with wage and hour class actions brought under the Massachusetts Wage Act and nationwide collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He represents employers across a broad spectrum of industries, including retail, transportation, delivery services, and telecom services in nationwide class and collective actions brought throughout the country.

Justin regularly provides counsel to senior management and human resource personnel on employment law compliance matters, such as reductions in force, leaves of absence, exempt status classification under the FLSA and state law, employee discipline, sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and restrictive covenant agreements.

Justin is a contributing editor of The Developing Labor Law, the leading treatise on U.S. labor law, and a frequent speaker to legal and industry groups on labor and employment issues.

Justin’s practice encompasses all areas of traditional labor law, including union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, unfair labor practice charges and representation case proceedings before the NLRB, union avoidance strategy and training, strike response and contingency planning, grievance arbitration proceedings, and appellate litigation before the NLRB and the Courts of Appeals. Justin was co-counsel to New Process Steel in the landmark Supreme Court case, New Process Steel v. NLRB, 560 U.S. 674 (2010).