Wyatt Employment Law Report


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Secretary of Labor Solis Is Resigning

By Edwin S. Hopson 

On January 9, 2013, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis submitted her resignation to President Obama.  She is apparently returning to private life in California.  In a press release on the Labor Department’s website, she is reported to have stated, in part: “Growing up in a large Mexican-American family in La Puente, California, I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to serve in a president’s Cabinet, let alone in the service of such an incredible leader.”


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NLRB Member Terence Flynn Tenders His Resignation

By Edwin S. Hopson

The National Labor Relations Board announced on May 27, 2012, that Board Member Terence F. Flynn, a Republican, had submitted his resignation the day before to President Obama and to NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce. Flynn’s resignation came after allegations surfaced that he had provided confidential information to former Board members including his former boss, Peter Schaumber who has worked on the Romney campaign.

Flynn’s resignation is effective July 24, 2012, but, according to the Board’s press release, Flynn has recused himself from all NLRB business effective immediately.

Flynn had received a recess appointment on January 4, 2012, and had been nominated many months earlier by President Obama. 

Chairman Pearce, who early in the controversy over Flynn’s alleged actions publicly expressed concern, was quoted in the press release as follows:  “Chairman Pearce informed NLRB employees of the resignation and, on behalf of the entire Board, thanked them for their ‘hard work and commitment to excellence through even the most difficult circumstances.’ 

The Flynn resignation reduces the Board to four Members—three Democrats and one Republican.


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NLRB Inspector General Finds No Evidence Member Hayes Was Enticed to Resign

By Edwin S. Hopson

As we reported in a blog article on December 6, 2011, NLRB Republican Member Brian Hayes was being investigated by the NLRB’s Inspector General over an allegation that he had been enticed to resign his position as a Member of the Board, which at the time would have reduced the number of board members to two, leaving the Board unable to issue decisions. Mr. Hayes had earlier threatened to resign in a letter to the Chairman of the Board over certain proposed regulations being considered by the Board’s other two members. Mr. Hayes decided later and announced that he was not resigning.

In an article by Kevin Bogardus posted on the website of The Hill on January 26, 2012, it was reported that the Inspector General had completed his investigation and concluded that Mr. Hayes had not been enticed to resign his post.  “As a result of our investigative efforts, we found no evidence that enticements were made to Member Hayes to resign his position as a Board Member,” Dave Berry, the NLRB’s Inspector General wrote in a January 23 memo to Mr. Hayes and NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce. The Inspector General did note, however, that Mr. Hayes had sought employment with the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Nevertheless, Mr. Berry found no wrongdoing by Member Hayes.  Apparently, Mr.Hayes had recused himself from any matters before the Board where the Morgan firm was involved.  By December 22, 2011, according to the report, Member Hayes advised the Morgan firm that he was no longer interested in employment with them.

This may not be the end of the matter.  The Hill also reported that U.S. Representative George Miller, a Democrat from California and the ranking member on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, wrote a letter on January 26, 2012, to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that the Justice Department initiate its own investigate of Mr.Hayes’ resignation threat.


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NLRB’s Inspector General May Have Opened an Investigation as to Whether Member Hayes Received an Offer Tied to a Resignation

By Edwin S. Hopson

On December 5, 2011, Holly Rosenkrantz of www.Bloomberg.com reported that the Inspector General of the National Labor Relations Board may have opened an investigation into whether Republican Member, Brian Hayes, received offers or enticements to resign his position on the five-member Board which would cripple the agency by reducing it to only two Members that would have no authority to issue decisions. 

There had been speculation that Hayes might resign in order to defeat an attempt by the two Democratic Members, Chairman Mark Pearce and Member Craig Becker, to implement a rule speeding up the union representation election process.  At the Board’s November 30 hearing on that proposed rule, Hayes indicated he was not going to resign.  At the same time, Hayes voted against the proposed rule.


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NLRB Republican Member Hayes Threatens Resignation Over Proposed Election Rule

By Edwin S. Hopson

In an article by Holly Rosenkrantz on the Bloomberg Businessweek website dated November 23, 2011, it reported that National Labor Relations Board Member Brian Hayes, the only Republican on the Board, is threatening to resign rather than allow a vote now scheduled for November 30, 2011, on a controversial new rule aimed at speeding up union representation elections. 

According to the article, NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce is quoted in a November 22 letter to Hayes as stating, “[y]ou indicated that, if the board proceeded with consideration of the matter, you would consider resigning your position.”

There are currently only three members on the five-member NLRB, and under last year’s Supreme Court decision in New Process Steel v. NLRB, if the Board is reduced to fewer than three members, it cannot continue to issue decisions. See posts below dated November 21 and 18.