Last week, Democrats Craig Becker and Mark Pearce were sworn in as Members of the National Labor Relations Board after receiving recess appointments from President Obama on March 27.

The recess appointments of Becker and Pearce will last until the end of 2011. For the first time under the new administration, Democrats make up a majority of the five-Member Board. The NLRB had only two of its five seats filled for over two years and its authority to issue decisions without a quorum has been called into question. The issue is currently pending before the Supreme Court, which is expected to make a decision this Spring.

Current Chairman Wilma Liebman has suggested that the current Board may now reverse many significant decisions issued by the Bush Board. Among those issues to watch are:

  • employee access to employers’ email systems for union purposes (Register-Guard)
  • the definition of "supervisor" under Section 2(11) of the Act (Oakwood Healthcare)
  • voluntary recognition (Dana/Metaldyne)
  • Weingarten rights in a non-union setting (IBM Corp.)  

As days go on, we will monitor devlopments at the Board, union organizing activity, and related topics and report on them.

Update: On April 16, the new Board issued its first decision. Click here to read the decision by Chairman Liebman and Members Schaumber and Pearce.