President Switches NLRB Nominees in the Face of Strong Opposition

November 14, 2014

This week, President Obama withdrew the nomination of Sharon Block to the National Labor Relations Board, instead naming Senate HELP Committee labor counsel Lauren McFerran.  Block's nomination had drawn strong opposition from Senate Republicans, based on her tenure as one of the controversial "recess" appointments struck down in the Supreme Court's Noel Canning case.  The Senate is likely to move quickly on the McFerran nomination, given the termination of existing NLRB Member Nancy Schiffer's term on December 16, which would bring the Board to an even 2 to 2 partisan split.  Meanwhile, the Board is expected to take a number of controversial actions prior to Schiffer's departure, including finalization of the expedited election rules and an expansion of "joint employer" standards to include contract workers, staffing agency workers, franchisee employees, and others.