On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a long-awaited ruling refusing to enforce the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) bargaining order against a petitioning employer. The basis for the court’s decision was the improper appointment of three members of the NLRB (Noel Canning v. NLRB).
The decision was unique in that it was ultimately decided on purely constitutional grounds, holding that President Obama’s attempted recess appointments of three Board Members in January 2012 were constitutionally impermissible.
What does this mean for the NLRB and for cases pending before it? Although the Board Chairman issued a terse press release on late on January 25th, the NLRB should be very concerned about its short term prospects.