President Obama seeks to seat Chai Feldblum as a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for another term and has re-nominated Lafe E. Solomon to be General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a four-year term. While Feldblum has been a confirmed EEOC Commissioner of the five-member panel since December 2010, Solomon has been working as Acting GC of the NLRB since former GC Ronald Meisburg stepped down in June 2010. Obama first nominated Solomon to fill the GC position in January 2011, although the Senate has yet to confirm his nomination.
Feldblum’s current term expires on July 1, 2013. If re-confirmed, she will serve as an EEOC member until July 1, 2018.
Solomon’s re-nomination is bound to be more contentious, as he has issued a number of controversial memorandums during his stint as the NLRB’s Acting GC. For example, Solomon raised eyebrows regarding his office’s take on employer social media and acceptable handbook policies, arbitration deferral, the use of Section 10(j) injunctions, and default settlement language, among other areas. Earlier this year, Solomon issued a report responding to a number of practice and procedural questions related to Board operations posed by labor attorneys during a recent American Bar Association Midwinter Meeting.
Last week, a Senate panel advanced nominations of Mark Gaston Pearce (D), Sharon Block (D), Richard Griffin (D), Harry I. Johnson, III (R) and Philip A. Miscimarra (R) to serve as Board members. It is unclear if the full Senate will be receptive to this slate of Board candidates, or whether those opposed to Griffin’s and Block’s nominations – the two recess appointees – will filibuster their nominations. It is possible that Solomon’s nomination will be thrown into the mix.