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NLRB Appoints Two New Administrative Law Judges, Judge Christal Key and Judge Brian Gee

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The National Labor Relations Board today announced the appointment of two new Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), Christal Key and Brian Gee. The new judges were chosen after a rigorous vetting process that saw a record number of applications. 

Judge Christal Key returns to the Board after spending the last six years as a Social Security judge. Previously, she worked for 22 years as a Field Attorney in two of the Board’s regional offices, Region 14 (St. Louis) and Region 15 (New Orleans). Judge Key received her Bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Rockhurst College and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kansas. Judge Key will take her assignments from the Washington, DC office of the Judges Division.

Judge Brian Gee has served as the Regional Attorney in Region 31 in Los Angeles for the past 10 years, after having served in Region 31 as Deputy Regional Attorney, Supervisor, and Trial Attorney since 1996. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in History from Occidental College and his Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University. Judge Gee will take his assignments from the San Francisco office of the Judges Division.

These hires represent the first new ALJ appointments at the Board in several years, bringing the total number of agency ALJs to 30 nationwide. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, the number of ALJs at the Board has fallen in recent years—a 23% decline since in Fiscal Year 2010, when the agency had 39 ALJs.

“We are delighted to welcome two extremely qualified new judges to join our excellent group of Administrative Law Judges,” said Board Chairman Lauren McFerran. “It is a critical time for the agency, with the number of unfair labor practice charges increasing significantly in recent months.  We are lucky to have these experienced professionals joining our team to help ensure that we can give timely and fair consideration to each case brought before us.”

“Judge Christal Key and Judge Brian Gee will make excellent additions to the Judges Division of the NLRB. Throughout their careers, they have shown a dedication to our Agency and they will continue to uphold the mission of the National Labor Relations Act in their new roles,” said Chief Administrative Law Judge Robert A. Giannasi. He added that, “although our number of judges has declined substantially over the years due to budget constraints, we are proud of an increasingly diverse team of judges that reflects the American workforce.”

Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees, employers, and unions from unfair labor practices and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.