Get Ready For Gridlock at the NLRB

By Eric B. Meyer

Back in September, I joked that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was on the verge of disbanding.

(Ok, maybe it wasn’t “ha! ha!” funny. Just work with me here, will ya?)

Now, one week away from a scheduled Nov. 30, 2011 meeting at which the NLRB will propose new rules which could facilitate union elections, Kevin Bogardus at reports that one NLRB member is threatening to resign. Egads!

Why you should care if a board member resigns story says:

The lone Republican member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has threatened to resign, according to the Democratic chairman, a move that would essentially shut down the controversial board.”

Why should your company care if a NLRB member resigns now?

Here’s why: Because if Republican Brian Hayes actually resigns from the NLRB, then the NLRB will have no further rule-making or decision-making authority.

Brian Hayes is one of three current NLRB members. (There are two additional empty seats). And the NLRB cannot legally do squat with just two members. Only Congress can fill the remaining seats, subject to approval from President Obama. (Technically, President Obama has recess-appointment power, but he won’t have a chance to exercise it before he is re-elected. Or should I say, if he is re-elected? Take that, 99 percent!).

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Given that the House of Representatives is Republican controlled, let’s just say that the odds of the House approving anyone perceived as union-friendly to fill any vacated NLRB seat are only slightly better than me winning Dancing With The Stars.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd now back to you, Tom Bergeron.

Attorney Eric Meyer will be leading a group of HR pros in a panel discussion on Social Media in the Workplace – Where is it Today, Where is it Going Tomorrow? at the TLNT Transform conference in Austin, TX Feb. 26-28, 2012. Click here for more information on this event. 

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (, which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.


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