WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 18, 2013 -
On Wednesday, March 20 at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will mark up the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act (H.R. 1120). The markup will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
In 2012, President Obama made three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the U.S. Senate was not in recess. Efforts to overturn board rulings were initiated in various federal courts on the basis that the board itself was no longer legitimate, creating a cloud of uncertainty over the board’s activities.
On January 25, 2013 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held unanimously in Noel Canning vs. NLRB that the president’s so-called recess appointments are constitutionally invalid. Any recent or future board decision is constitutionally suspect and open to challenge in court. The AFL-CIO recently stated the ruling has “seriously undermined enforcement of the law.” In response to the legal turmoil the president’s appointment scheme has created, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act.
The Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act :
- Requires the board to cease all activity that requires a three member quorum and prohibits the enforcement of any action taken after January 2012 that required a quorum.
- Protects the right of workers to petition for union elections and allows NLRB regional offices to accept and process unfair labor practice charges filed by an injured party – worker, employer, or union.
- Removes restrictions on the board’s authority after one of the following events occurs:
- The U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the recess appointments; or
- A board quorum is constitutionally confirmed by the Senate; or
- The terms of the unconstitutional recess appointees expire when the First Session of the 113th Congress adjourns
- Ensures any action involving the so-called recess appointees is reviewed and approved by a future board that has been constitutionally appointed.
To learn more about H.R. 1120, click here.
To learn more about this markup, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/markups.
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