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NLRB In Legal Limbo, Swift Action by Senate Needed
Written by Erin Johansson   
May 04, 2009

Two contradicting court decisions issued last week leave the National Labor Relations Board in legal limbo.  For the past 16 months, Wilma Liebman and Peter Schaumber have jointly issued 400 decisions, preventing a major backlog of cases while the Board was down by three members.  Yet the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington just held that it was invalid for them to issue two-member decisions, while a federal appellate court in Chicago upheld the validity of their decisions.  It will likely take a Supreme Court decision to clear up the legal matter.

It is all the more imperative now that the Senate swiftly confirm President Obama’s nominees for two vacant Board seats. If the Board is forced to re-examine all of those cases when another member is appointed, it must do so quickly in order to minimize the damage done to workers.  Behind each of those cases are real people who are waiting for their union to be recognized, waiting for their employer to come to the bargaining table, and waiting to collect backpay for a wrongful termination.

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What is the NLRB?

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is a federal agency responsible for protecting workers’ rights to form unions and promoting collective bargaining.


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About the Author

Erin Johansson Erin Johansson writes our Eye on the NLRB blog.  Erin has worked as a Senior Research Associate at American Rights at Work since 2004 and is the author of some of our reports.  


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