US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Senate Advances Nomination of Richard Griffin to Serve as General Counsel to the National Labor Relations Board

Harkin, Chair of Senate Labor Committee, Applauds Senate Action

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statement after the Senate voted to advance the nomination of Richard Griffin to serve as General Counsel to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Griffin’s nomination was approved by the Senate HELP Committee in September.

“The NLRB is divided into two independent sides: the Board side which adjudicates and interprets the law, and the General Counsel side, which investigates filed charges, prosecutes violations, and generally supervises the processing of cases.  The General Counsel position is important because the NLRB receives about 20,000 to 30,000 charges per year from employees, unions, and employers, and it is the primary function of the General Counsel to make sure each charge is thoroughly investigated and prosecuted if it is determined to have merit.

“Richard Griffin is eminently qualified for this key position at the NLRB. He has a wealth of experience as a labor lawyer and a deep knowledge of the agency. I am pleased that the Senate has voted today to advance his nomination, and look forward to his swift confirmation to the General Counsel role.

“In July, we confirmed five new NLRB Board Members, preventing the agency from shutting down and giving it a full slate of members for the first time in a decade.  With a fully-functional, five-member Board and a Senate-confirmed General Counsel, it is my hope that we can provide this important agency with some much-needed certainty, mark a new positive chapter for the NLRB, and finally put an end to the delay and obstruction that has recently become all too familiar. It is long past time to allow the NLRB to function like the law intends and let the dedicated public servants who work there do their jobs.”

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