The National Labor Relations Board was established by Executive Order 6763 on June 29, 1934 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
A predecessor organization, the National Labor Board, was established by the National Industrial Recovery Act in 1933, an act that was subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court.
The Board’s jurisdiction is limited to private sector employers and the United States Postal Service; other than Postal Service employees, it has no authority over labor relations disputes involving governmental, railroad and airline employees covered by the Adamson Railway Labor Act, or agricultural employees. On the other hand, in those parts of the private sector its jurisdictional standards are low enough to reach almost all employers whose business has any appreciable impact on interstate commerce.
Congress may overturn an executive order by passing legislation in conflict with it or by refusing to approve funding to enforce it.
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November 29, 2011
The chairman of the National Labor Relations Board has dialed back a proposal that had members of the board on a collision course ahead of a meeting Wednesday.
The original proposal would speed up and simplify union elections. In protest, the panel’s lone Republican member had threatened to resign — a move that would effectively shut down the board and prevent the vote on union organizing.
It’s unclear whether the Republican member, Brian Hayes, would in turn reconsider his threat to resign — a threat Pearce claims he made weeks ago.
If the board were at full membership, the resignation of one member might not be a problem. But the NLRB, which is supposed to have five members, currently has only three. Hayes’ resignation would deprive the board of a quorum and in turn disallow it from issuing regulations and rulings.
Even without Hayes’ resignation, the board already is careening toward that scenario, with Democratic member Craig Becker’s recess appointment set to expire at the end of the year without action by Congress.
The standoff has resulted in a rapid-fire exchange of accusations over the past several weeks. The NLRB is much-loathed by Republicans, who see it as a vehicle for passing pro-union decisions favored by the Obama administration. The independent federal agency is meant to look after and protect the rights of workers to improve their working conditions
Democrats are concerned the entire operation of the NLRB will get caught up in this feud.