Richard F. Griffin, Jr. was sworn in as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today for a four year term. Mr. Griffin was nominated by President Barack Obama in August and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 29, 2013. He replaces Lafe E. Solomon, who had been Acting General Counsel since June 2010.
Before becoming the NLRB’s General Counsel, Mr. Griffin was a Board Member with the NLRB from January 9, 2012 through August 2, 2013. Prior to that time, he held leadership roles with the International Union of Operating Engineers serving as its General Counsel and was a member of the board of trustees of its Central Pension Fund. Mr. Griffin is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and started his legal career as Counsel to various Board Members from 1981-1983.
To assist him in the Office of the General Counsel, General Counsel Griffin announced the selection of Jennifer Abruzzo as his Deputy General Counsel and Rachel Gartner Lennie as his Assistant General Counsel. Ms. Abruzzo left private practice and began working for the NLRB in 1995 as a field attorney in the Miami Office. She was promoted to the positions of Supervisory Field Attorney and Deputy Regional Attorney before moving to the NLRB’s Division of Operations-Management in Washington, DC in January 2006. In February 2011, she joined former Acting General Counsel Solomon in the Office of the General Counsel and most recently assisted with the Division of Legal Counsel. Ms. Lennie clerked for judges in the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals before becoming an associate with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Washington, DC. In 1997, she began working for the NLRB in the Appellate Court Branch and then served as counsel for various former Board members. In 2010, Ms. Lennie was selected as Deputy Chief Counsel by former Board Member Craig Becker and served in that capacity during Mr. Griffin's term as a Board Member. She most recently has been serving as Deputy Chief Counsel to Board Member Kent Y. Hirozawa.
The Office of the General Counsel is independent from the Board and is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases, the conducting of secret ballot elections to determine whether employees desire union representation and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices across the country.