U.S. labor board backs personnel actions from time without quorum

WASHINGTON Mon Aug 4, 2014 4:59pm EDT

WASHINGTON Aug 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Labor Relations Board said on Monday it had unanimously ratified numerous administrative and personnel actions it took when it lacked a constitutionally valid quorum.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its June decision in the case NLRB v. Noel Canning that recess appointments made by President Barack Obama to the NLRB's five-member board were invalid. That decision called into question case decisions and official actions made by the labor law agency during a period in which it lacked the needed quorum of three members.

Action on case decisions still lies ahead, but the board said in a news release it had separately ratified personnel moves and other administrative decisions it took during the same period.

The ratifications concerned installations of regional directors, administrative law judges and other personnel that occurred from Jan. 4, 2012 to Aug. 5, 2013, when the board did not have the necessary quorum of three members, it said.

"The Board has now ratified these actions to remove any question concerning the validity of actions undertaken during that period," the statement said.

"This is not a surprising action by the board," Proskauer Rose attorney Ronald Meisburg said in a separate statement.

"It remains to be seen, however, whether it will in fact resolve all the issues. I suspect a number of parties will continue to litigate and test whether the board's ratification is effective," Meisburg, a former NLRB general counsel, added.

The NLRB also announced on Monday that it has authorized new regional directors in Philadelphia, Tampa and Los Angeles, and selected five new administrative law judges. (Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Tom Brown)

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