On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) voted 13-9 to advance the nomination of Richard F. Griffin, Jr., to serve as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. Griffin was one of the three controversial recess appointees to the Board. Earlier this summer, Griffin’s nomination to the Board was withdrawn – along with fellow recess appointee Sharon Block –as part of the Senate deal to confirm a full slate of Board candidates.
Prior to his recess appointment to the Board, Griffin was a long-term attorney for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), acting as its general counsel toward the end of his tenure with the union. In addition, Griffin served on the board of directors for the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee for nearly two decades. Earlier in his career, Griffin worked as counsel to various Board members.
The NLRB general counsel is tasked with investigating and prosecuting charges of unfair labor practice cases, supervising NLRB field offices, deciding which cases to pursue, and implementing the policies and procedures field agents should follow. The general counsel’s office is independent from the Board, and has the ability to steer agency policy. Lafe Solomon is currently serving as Acting General Counsel.
The full Senate will now be able to vote on Griffin’s nomination, although such a vote has not yet been scheduled.