On October 29, 2013, the Senate confirmed Richard Griffin as National Labor Relations Board General Counsel. Griffin’s confirmation means that for the first time in many years the NLRB has a full five-member board—three Democrats and two Republicans—and a confirmed General Counsel.
Griffin replaces retiring Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon. As General Counsel, Griffin will be in charge of investigating and prosecuting unfair labor practices charges and supervising the NLRB field offices.
President Obama previously appointed Griffin to serve as a member of the NLRB. However, the validity of his appointment and those of two others were challenged by members of Congress and in the courts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that the appointments were unconstitutional. Noel Canning, a Division of Noel Corp. v. NLRB (D.C. Cir. 2013). Despite the controversy, Griffin served on the NLRB until his nomination to General Counsel in August. With nomination controversy settled (for now), employers can expect the Board to focus on actively enforcing the National Labor Relations Act.