Senate Confirms Five New NLRB Members

The U.S. Senate confirmed all five pending nominees to the NLRB. An agreement was reached between leaders of both parties in July to move on the Administration’s picks as part of negotiations to avert Democrat-threatened filibuster reform. The confirmed nominees are as follows:

  • Mark Pearce (D), current Chairman of the NLRB
  • Kent Hirozawa (D), chief counsel to Chairman Pearce
  • Nancy Schiffer (D), associate general counsel at the AFL-CIO and an ardent supporter of “card check”
  • Harry Johnson (R), labor attorney with Arent Fox representing management
  • Philip Miscimarra (R), labor attorney with Morgan Lewis representing management.

The votes for Hirozawa and Schiffer were both 54-44, with Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska the only Republican voting for their confirmation. Although Schiffer and Hirozawa claimed in their confirmation hearing that they would be able to make objective decisions as Board members despite pro-union backgrounds, the business community is not as optimistic.

With a Democrat majority now confirmed to the NLRB, IEC members can expect to see a new attempt at enacting an “ambush elections” rule, possible Board reconsideration of a 2007 decision that an employer may prohibit employee use of email for personal purposes such as union organizing, and the expansion of micro unions in the wake of the Board’s 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision.  We are also awaiting the Department of Labor’s issuance of its final “persuader rule,” which continues to be listed on the agency’s annual regulatory agenda, sometime in the next year.
IEC will follow the actions of this new Board very closely. As part of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, IEC is gearing up for a continuingly activist NLRB and for the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Noel Canning case later this fall.