Since April of 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“Commission”) has been a panel of one. After Chairwoman Heather MacDougall resigned from the Commission on March 31, 2019 and Commission Cynthia Attwood’s term ended in April of 2019, the Commission was left with one member, Commissioner James Sullivan, Jr. In July 2019, Mr. Sullivan was elevated to Chairman of the Commission and has sat in that position without a quorum since then. But that will soon change as the Senate has confirmed two appointees, both familiar faces to the Commission.
On January 9th, 2020, the Senate confirmed both Cynthia Attwood and Amanda Wood Laihow by voice vote. Attwood has previously served two terms on the Commission, both as a commissioner and as Chairwoman, with her first term beginning in February 2010 and her last term ending on April 27, 2019. Ms. Attwood’s third term would expire on April 27, 2025. As for Ms. Wood Laihow, she is also familiar to the Commission as she currently serves as Chairman Sullivan’s chief counsel. Ms. Wood Laihow’s term is set to expire on April 27, 2023.
Because the Commission has lacked a quorum, Chairman Sullivan has been unable to issue decisions on pending appeals. However, he has been able to continue to designate cases for review. According to the Commission’s website, there are currently 23 cases pending Commission review. Once Attwood and Wood Laihow are officially sworn in, the Commission can begin reviewing those appeals and start issuing decisions again.