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White House shuffles NLRB nominees ahead of Senate shift

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Seeking to speed up appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before Republicans take control of the Senate in January, the Obama administration has withdrawn a controversial nominee and replaced her with a prospective member it hopes will win swift approval.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) was scheduled to hold hearings Nov. 20 on the nomination of Lauren McFerran to replace outgoing member Nancy Schiffer, whose term will expire on Dec. 16.

McFerran will probably win the committee’s endorsement, since she currently serves on HELP’s staff as chief labor law attorney. Her confirmation depends on timing: If the Senate agrees to vote before adjourning in December, she will be confirmed. That’s far from certain after Republicans take over in January.

The nod went to McFerran after the White House withdrew the nomination of former NLRB member Sharon Block. Block was one of the 2012 NLRB members whose recess appointments spawned last year’s NLRB v. Noel Canning Supreme Court case. The Court ruled that President Obama overstepped his executive powers when he pushed through three nominees while Congress was on a break.

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Also on tap for HELP Committee: Nominations for EEOC slots

Two nominees for positions on the EEOC went before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on Nov. 12. The White House wants P. David Lopez to serve another term as EEOC general counsel, while Justice Department official Charlotte Burrows has been nominated to fill an open seat on the commission.

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