After many months of having Lafe Solomon being the acting General Counsel for the NLRB, the Board finally has a General Counsel who has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Richard F. Griffin, Jr. Such action took place on October 29. He will be in charge of that office for a four-year term. As most people are aware, before being confirmed as the NLRB’s new General Counsel, Mr. Griffin was a Board member with the NLRB during 2012 and 2013. Prior to being with the Board he held various leadership roles with the International Union of Operating Engineers and also was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Central Pension Fund for that organization.
As is usually the case, he has named two new assistants to become part of his immediate staff. The new Deputy General Counsel is Jennifer Abruzzo and the Assistant General Counsel is Rachel Gartner Lennie. Both are attorneys who served under Solomon and have spent essentially their entire professional careers with the NLRB.
It will be interesting to see the approach by Mr. Griffin going forward. There is no doubt that his predecessor was one of the most proactive General Counsel’s the NLRB has ever had during its long tenure as the policing body for labor relations in this country. Frankly, the fact that he comes from the outside, rather than within the agency, may be a plus, as there is no question that becoming a long-term employee of the NLRB can result in a very myopic approach towards labor relations. Let us just hope that his limited tenure with the Board did not result in such a viewpoint being developed.