On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor
and Pensions (HELP) voted 13-9 to advance the nomination of Richard
F. Griffin, Jr., to serve as General Counsel of the National Labor
Relations Board. Griffin was one of the three controversial recess
appointees to the Board. Earlier this summer, Griffin's
nomination to the Board was withdrawn – along with fellow
recess appointee Sharon Block –as part of the Senate deal to
confirm a full slate of Board candidates.
Prior to his recess appointment to the Board, Griffin was a
long-term attorney for the International Union of Operating
Engineers (IUOE), acting as its general counsel toward the end of
his tenure with the union. In addition, Griffin served on the board
of directors for the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee for
nearly two decades. Earlier in his career, Griffin worked as
counsel to various Board members.
The NLRB general counsel is tasked with investigating and
prosecuting charges of unfair labor practice cases, supervising
NLRB field offices, deciding which cases to pursue, and
implementing the policies and procedures field agents should
follow. The general counsel's office is independent from the
Board, and has the ability to steer agency policy. Lafe Solomon is
currently serving as Acting General Counsel.
The full Senate will now be able to vote on Griffin's
nomination, although such a vote has not yet been scheduled.
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Policy language which had been commonplace and acceptable for decades has suddenly been deemed to have a "chilling" effect on employee rights under federal labor law, and therefore, is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act.
If you are an employer, you likely know that the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") requires payment of a minimum wage, along with overtime pay for nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek.
If you work in Human Resources, you are surely familiar with the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9, and depending on the size of your company's workforce, you might complete new I-9s on a regular basis.
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