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No Weingarten Rights for Nurses in Peer Review Proceeding, Federal Appeals Court Rules

Nurses had no right to union representation in their hospital employer’s peer review committee proceedings, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled. Midwest Division – MMC, LLC, dba Menorah Medical Center v. NLRB, No. 15-1312 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 18, 2017). The Court, however, found the hospital violated the National Labor … Continue Reading

Hospital Cannot Show Nurses’ Overtime Refusal Would Cause Irreparable Harm, Court Rules No TRO

Denying a hospital’s request to restrain its unionized nurses from refusing overtime assignments after the hospital had announced it would make layoffs, a federal court in Rhode Island concluded the hospital failed to demonstrate that it or its patients would suffer irreparable harm as a result of the nurses’ refusal to work overtime. New England … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Hospital Must Bargain with Union on Changes to Dress Code Policy

A hospital’s newly implemented dress code policy was a material, substantial, and significant change to union employees’ terms and conditions of employment that required bargaining with the union, the NLRB has ruled.  Salem Hospital Corp., 360 NLRB No. 95 (Apr. 30, 2014). The hospital maintained a dress code policy, which allowed employees wide latitude to determine … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Employer’s Ban on Off-Duty Access Unlawful

A nursing home’s policy prohibiting off-duty employees from remaining on its premises after their shift “unless previously authorized by” their supervisor interfered with the labor rights of employees, the NLRB has ruled.  Piedmont Gardens, 360 NLRB No. 100 (May 1, 2014). The union filed unfair labor practice charges against the employer, alleging among other things, … Continue Reading

NLRB ALJ Finds Employer’s Ban on Unfair Criticism Unlawful

A hospital’s code of conduct forbidding comments that stray beyond “fair criticism” and behavior detrimental to “promoting teamwork” were unlawful, NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Susan Flynn has ruled.  William Beaumont Hospital, Case No. 07-CA-093885 (January 30, 2014). The hospital’s code of conduct stated, in part: Conduct on the part of a Beaumont employee or … Continue Reading

Union Could File NLRB Charges Despite Arbitration Agreement, Court Finds

A union’s labor agreement to arbitrate any unresolved disputes about its organizing of employees and bargaining with a hospital did not demonstrate that the Union waived its right to file unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB, a federal district court ruled.  Fallbrook Hosp. Corp. v. Cal. Nurses Ass’n, No. CV-01233-GPC-WMC (S.D. Cal. Sept 23, … Continue Reading

United States Supreme Court Will Review Home Health Care Workers’ Challenge To Compulsory Union Fees

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to review a Seventh Circuit decision requiring non-union Illinois home health care workers serving Medicaid recipients to pay union fees.  Harris v. Quinn, No. 12-861, cert. granted 10/1/13.  Pursuant to a 2009 executive order and a collective bargaining agreement, the state of Illinois and SEIU Healthcare Illinois & … Continue Reading

Hospital Commits Unfair Labor Practice by Unilaterally Changing Dress Policy and Failing to Respond to Union’s Information Request

A hospital violated the National Labor Relations Act when it changed its dress policy without first giving the union representing its nurses an opportunity to bargain and by failing to provide information the union requested regarding the policy, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge has found in Salem Hospital Corporation a/k/a The Memorial Hospital of Salem County, Case No. 04-CA-097635 (Sept. 10, 2013).… Continue Reading

Tension Behind Patient-To-Nurse Staffing Ratio Highlighted By Union Initiative

Beginning this month, the Massachusetts Nurses Association (“MNA”) initiated a signature drive to support legislation requiring hospitals to limit the number of patients cared for by individual nurses.  The initiative is titled the “Patient Safety Act” and strictly would limit nurses in a medical/surgical unit to caring for 4 patients, nurses in emergency departments to … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Division of Advice Finds Employee’s Facebook Comments Unprotected

The NLRB’s Division of Advice found in Tasker Healthcare Grp. d/b/a Skinsmart Dermatology (4-CA-94222, 5/8/2013) that an employer did not violate the NLRA when it discharged the charging party for critical or derogatory comments made about her employer and supervisors during a Facebook conversation with other employees.  According to the NLRB memorandum, the charging party’s … Continue Reading

Two Recent NLRB Decisions Affecting Employer Investigations and the Issuance of Discipline

Despite the yet-unanswered question of the validity of NLRB rulings since President Obama’s “Recess Appointments” in January 2012, healthcare employers should be aware of several recent decisions that will affect the industry. In Alan Ritchey, the Board held for the first time that, where a collectively bargained grievance and arbitration system does not exist, as … Continue Reading

Ruling in Noel Canning Leaves Unanswered Questions For Internal Investigations In Healthcare Industry

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled in Noel Canning v. NLRB et al., Nos. 12-1115 and 12-1153 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 25, 2013), that President Obama’s “Recess Appointments” of three new NLRB members in January 2012 were unconstitutional and, as a result, the Board lacked any constitutional authority to … Continue Reading

Breaking News: NLRB Posting Rule Postponed Again

On December 23, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced that it was postponing the effective date of its employee rights notice-posting rule from January 31 to April 30.  This is the second postponement of the rule which was initially to go into effect on November 14, 2010. Several employer groups have filed lawsuits challenging … Continue Reading
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