NLRB Ratifies Administrative Actions Taken during Invalid Recess Appointment Period

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in N.L.R.B. v. Noel Canning, et al., which invalidated President Obama’s 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the NLRB recently ratified a number of actions taken while it was unconstitutionally constituted (from January 4, 2012, until August 5, 2013). In a press release, the NLRB defended these administrative, personnel, and procurement actions as “timely and appropriate,” but ratified them to “remove any question” concerning their validity.

This move is not unexpected, as the current NLRB has not disagreed with the views expressed by the NLRB with its improperly appointed members. The Board said that it was acting out of “an abundance of caution” and “in an effort to bring an end to ongoing litigation regarding the actions of the Board and its personnel between January 4, 2012 and August 5, 2013.” It remains to be seen, however, whether this action will quash any of the challenges that have been brought to the NLRB’s actions taken during this period.

Significantly, this action does not affect the more than 100 decisions issued by the NLRB that were invalidated by Noel Canning. The NLRB has not announced a timetable for action on any of these cases.

Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group routinely helps employers comply with their obligations under the National Labor Relations Act and represents employers in cases before the NLRB. For more information, please contact Shannon D. Farmer at 215.864.8221 or farmers@ballardspahr.com, Alexandra Bak-Boychuk at 215.864.8123 or bakboychuka@ballardspahr.com, or the member of the Group with whom you work.