NLRB Chairman Sends Letter to Congress on Members’ Commitment to Ethical Obligations
Today, in a letter to Republican Members on the House Education and Labor and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees, National Labor Relations Board Chairman Lauren McFerran confirmed that the Agency’s Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) has advised Members Gwynne Wilcox and David Prouty that they may participate in the Board’s response to a lawsuit filed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
The letter, which responds to a previous inquiry from the Members of Congress, explains that Members Wilcox and Prouty sought and received appropriate guidance from the NLRB’s DAEO, in accordance with the Agency’s ethics protocols. The DAEO found that no applicable ethics statute, regulation, or other provision required Member Wilcox or Member Prouty to recuse themselves from the Board’s consideration of and response to the lawsuit, and recommended that, based on an assessment of the relevant facts, their participation would not raise appearance concerns about lack of impartiality. In agreement with the DAEO’s conclusions and recommendations, which were shared with all Board members, Members Wilcox and Prouty both determined to participate in the Board’s decision-making regarding this matter.
“Each of us takes very seriously our obligation to discharge our duties in a manner that instills trust and confidence in the public we serve. One aspect of that obligation is to seek guidance from the agency’s career ethics experts to ensure that we are acting in compliance with applicable government and legal ethics rules. Another is to faithfully fulfill our role as Board members when, as here, participation in the Board’s deliberations is appropriate,” said Chairman McFerran.
Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees 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.