On March 20, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a meeting to vote on the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act (H.R. 1120), a bill seeking to limit National Labor Relations Board activities until at least three members are confirmed by the Senate or until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on the legitimacy of President Obama’s recess appointments. This measure is the latest in a series of bills that have been introduced following the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s finding in Noel Canning v. NLRB that the President’s three January 2012 recess appointments to the NLRB were unconstitutional.
The legislation includes the following provision:
Effective on the date of enactment of this Act, the National Labor Relations Board shall cease all activity that requires a quorum of the members of the Board, as set forth in the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 10 151 et seq.). The Board shall not implement, administer, or enforce any decision, rule, vote, or other action decided, undertaken, adopted, issued, or finalized on or after January 4, 2012, that requires a quorum of the members of the Board, as set forth in such Act.
The bill would, however, allow NLRB regional offices to continue to accept and process unfair labor practice charges. The legislation would require a future Board with confirmed members to review all of the actions carried out by the prior Board staffed with recess appointees. Additional information on the bill can be found here.
In a news release, Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), chief sponsor of the bill, said:
Each new action taken by the board simply exacerbates the uncertainty facing America’s workers, employers, and taxpayers . . . Allowing the board to continue its work while its constitutional standing is in doubt is not an option. This important legislation will prevent the board from creating greater confusion and uncertainty while also ensuring other important functions of the NLRB can continue.
Similar bills introduced in recent weeks that would accomplish the same end include the NLRB Freeze Act of 2013 (S. 180); the Advice and Consent Restoration Act (H.R. 557, S. 188); the Restoring the Constitutional Balance of Power Act of 2013 (S. 190); and H.R. 976.
More information on the upcoming markup can be found here.