What a difference a presidential election makes. The NLRB’s General Counsel position has gone from a former partner at a union-busting firm nominated by Trump to a union-side lawyer today.
“Today, the National Labor Relations Board welcomes Jennifer Abruzzo as General Counsel. Ms. Abruzzo was nominated by President Biden on February 17, 2021 and was sworn in today for a four-year term by Chairman Lauren McFerran. The General Counsel is independent from the Board and is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices in the processing of cases. Today marks the first time in NLRB history women are serving as both Chairman and General Counsel.
‘t is a true pleasure to welcome Jennifer Abruzzo back to the National Labor Relations Board. Jennifer is a dedicated public servant with a wealth of experience that she will bring to this important role. I look forward to working with her in our shared mission to advance the important goals of the National Labor Relations Act,’ said Chairman Lauren McFerran. ‘I would also like to thank Peter Sung Ohr for his invaluable service as Acting General Counsel. His willingness to serve in this capacity for the last six months is yet another indication of his lifelong commitment to public service and to our agency.’
‘I am thrilled to rejoin the Agency and once again work with its talented board agents, who are committed to fully protecting the rights of workers to freely associate and act collectively to improve their wages and working conditions. I am looking forward to partnering with them, as well as colleagues at other agencies to engage with and educate the public and to promote better enforcement of labor and employment laws,’ said General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo. ‘I believe that vigorous enforcement of the Act will help level the playing field for workers and their freely chosen representatives, bring much needed equity to the historically underserved members of our communities, engender safe and productive workplaces, which is particularly critical right now as we fight a pandemic, and build a better economy for workers, families, and communities in this country.’
Jennifer Abruzzo most recently served as Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives for Communications Workers of America (CWA). Prior to her work at CWA, Ms. Abruzzo was Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Ms. Abruzzo spent almost twenty-three years working for the NLRB in various capacities, including as Field Attorney, Supervisory Field Attorney and Deputy Regional Attorney in the Miami, Florida office, as well as Deputy Assistant General Counsel in the Division of Operations-Management in Washington, DC, where she oversaw Regional operations in the Northeast and Midwest.
General Counsel Abruzzo further said, ‘I am also very pleased to report that joining me in the Office of the General Counsel is Peter Sung Ohr as Deputy General Counsel and Jessica Rutter as Associate General Counsel. They are both extremely capable attorneys, who are well-steeped in the law and have a deep dedication to effectuating the mission of the Act. I know that they will act as great partners and provide me with sage advice as we move forward.'”