Member Peter Schaumber (R) left the NLRB last Friday, August 27, 2010, at the expiration of his term. Member Schaumber was nominated by President George W. Bush early in his first term, taking his seat on December 17, 2002. He was designated the Chairman of the NLRB on March 19, 2008, a position he held until January 19, 2010.
Among other significant accomplishments, Member Schaumber served as the NLRB's Chairman during the 27-month period when it had only two members. Working together with now-Chairman Liebman, the NLRB issued nearly 600 decisions. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the NLRB did not have the authority to act with only two members, thus invalidating these decisions. The NLRB was in the process of reviewing the cases impacted by this ruling as Member Schaumber's term expired.
As a result of Member Schaumber's departure, there are at least two significant questions labor professionals should ask:
- Who will President Obama nominate to replace Member Schaumber? The President's prior nominations have generated substantial opposition in the business community. The battle over the nomination of former SEIU lawyer Craig Becker is a good example.
- How will the NLRB handle the cases that remain open after the New Process Steel decision? According the NLRB's online database, not all of these cases have been decided. Without Member Schaumber on the NLRB, it is possible that the cases could now turn out differently.