OSHRC Gains a Quorum—Commissioners Attwood and Laihow Sworn Into Office
On January 22, 2020, Cynthia Attwood and Amanda Wood Laihow were sworn in to serve their respective appointments as commissioners of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC). The U.S. Senate confirmed both of Donald J. Trump’s nominees by voice vote on January 9, 2020. Commissioners Attwood and Laihow will serve alongside OSHRC’s current chair, James J. Sullivan, Jr.
Chairman Sullivan said in a statement that he “welcomed the return of a full complement of Review Commission members.”
The Commission is a three-member body and requires at least two commissioners (a quorum) to decide cases. Since April of 2019, Sullivan was the sole sitting member of the Commission. After former Chairwoman Heather MacDougall resigned her position on March 31, 2019, and the term of Attwood ended on April 27, 2019, OSHRC was down to one member. Because the Commission lacked a quorum, Sullivan was unable to issue any decisions on pending appeals. He was, however, still able to continue to designate cases for review. According to the OSHRC website, as of October 30, 2019, there were 24 decisions awaiting review.
With all three seats of the panel filled, the Commission can begin reviewing those appeals and start issuing decisions. In fact, just days after Attwood and Laihow were sworn in, OSHRC issued two decisions—both remand orders.
Chairman Sullivan’s term is due to expire next on April 27, 2021. Laihow’s term will expire April 27, 2023, and Attwood’s term will expire April 27, 2025.