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José J. Santiago

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DC CIRCUIT OVERTURNS NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD RECESS APPOINTMENTS AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

In the case of Canning v. NLRB, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the three recess appointments to the NLRB made by President Obama on January of 2012 (See Labor Watch No. 2 of 2012) were unconstitutional. The appeals court determined that the president's authority to make appointments applies only during "the recess" of the Senate--which it defined as the period between the sessions of the Senate when it is not in session and therefore unavailable to assess and vote on presidential nominations. At the time of the appointments were made, the Senate was technically in session.

 

The Board has only three members at this time, from a normal five-member component. Two members, Richard Griffin and Sharon Block, were recess appointments. Board Chairman Mark Pearce issued a statement on the Court ruling expressing that the Board disagrees with the Court's decision and believes that the President's position in the matter will ultimately be upheld. The Board will continue to perform its statutory duties and to issue decisions. At this time, the decisions issued by the Board since the recess appointment are not affected, unless they were appealed to the DC Circuit Court. It is believed that the Obama administration will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.

 

In other news, Board member Richard Griffin, a former general counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), was named as a defendant in a federal racketeering civil suit filed by 10 members of IUOE Local 501 in Los Angeles. The lawsuit alleges that Griffin, during his tenure representing the international union, was complicit in a scheme to defraud the local. Griffin was allegedly involved in embezzlement and a cover-up. Several IUOE union officials have been convicted of corruption.

 

The Labor Law Group at Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., will issue the FGR LABOR WATCH with information of legal issues and developments in areas of interest to our friends and clients. If you know anyone who would like to receive the FGR LABOR WATCH, please feel free to forward this newsletter. For more information about any matter raised in this Labor Watch, please contact your usual FGR labor lawyer or José A. Silva Cofresí at jsilva@fgrlaw.com.

©2014 FIDDLER GONZÁLEZ & RODRÍGUEZ, P.S.C. Permission is granted to view, store, print, copy or distribute the content of this newsletter for noncommercial or personal use, provided you do not alter it and you give us proper credit. The content of this newsletter is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice or advertising. In addition, the above discussion has been provided in general terms and, therefore, should not be relied upon as legal advice applicable to a specific set of facts and circumstances. Before taking legal action, consult a lawyer you trust. Although we will try to be accurate, you cannot rely on its applicability to your specific problem without consulting your lawyer. Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. and the members of the Labor Law Group assume no responsibility to inform you of additional changes in law or any other legal issues related to matters addressed in this email of which we may become aware after the date hereof. This newsletter is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and our firm or any of our attorneys. If we are not already representing you, be mindful that your email communications to any of our lawyers will not be treated as privileged or confidential until you ask us to represent you, we first conduct a conflict of interest search, we agree to represent you and you sign an engagement letter from the law firm.

***IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any United States federal tax advice in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written by Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding any penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. **

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