Share this e-Alert:

Polsinelli - Health Care Polsinelli - Health Care
         

  

March 2015

  

Is This the Perfect Storm for Union Organizing of Health Care Providers?

  

 
 

  

     

  

 
 
Law Firm of the Year - U.S. News and World Report - Health Care Law - 2015
 

For more information about this e-Alert, please contact:

  

Mark D. Nelson

Author

312.463.6371

Email | Bio

  

Health Care Practice Leaders:

  

Matthew J. Murer

Practice Area Chair

312.873.3603

Email | Bio

  

Jane E. Arnold

Practice Area Vice Chair

312.622.6687

Email | Bio

  

Colleen M. Faddick

Practice Area Vice Chair

303.583.8201

Email | Bio

  

To learn more about our Health Care practice, or to contact one of our Health Care attorneys, click here.

  


View Polsinelli documents on JD Supra  

SUBSCRIBE

 
LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Inside Law Podcast Connect with us on LinkedIn. Connection with us on Twitter. Connect with us on Facebook.
   

For the past six years, the National Labor Relations Board has issued decisions and rules that substantially impact the rights of employers under the National Labor Relations Act. For example, recent Board decisions have limited employers' rights to discipline employees for vulgar, offensive, and threatening speech and conduct. The Board has limited the right of employers to control employee access and use of email. Employers cannot, under all circumstances, advise employees to maintain the confidentiality of internal investigations and witness statements are no longer shielded from being given to the union. These are just examples.

However, the Board's actions regarding union representation elections may well present the greatest threat to the ability of health care employers to maintain union-free status. The first action, the Board's decision in Specialty Healthcare, significantly changed how the Board determines what is an appropriate bargaining unit. The effect of this decision is that bargaining units will be much smaller than they have been in the past, which is likely to result in more elections won by unions. While this decision does not apply to bargaining units in acute care hospitals, it does apply to other health care settings such as long-term care facilities, urgent care centers, surgical centers, LTACs and rehabilitation facilities.

The second action is the Board's Final Rule, which dramatically changes the process for holding union elections. This rule, which becomes effective April 1, shortens the time between when a representation petition is filed and when the election is held. Here is a summary of the changes and the impact:

What Employers Should Do Now

  • Assess whether front-line supervisors meet the current NLRB standard for supervisory status;
  • Provide preventive labor relations education and training to all supervisors, managers and executives and Board members;
  • Assess employee engagement and union organizing vulnerability and develop strategic plan to increase engagement and reduce vulnerability;
  • Analyze potential bargaining units at all non-acute care sites of care/operations;
  • Comprehensive review of key HR policies including:
    • Off-duty access by employees;
    • Solicitation/distribution;
    • Dress code/button/insignia;
    • Social media;
    • Code of Conduct/Behavior; and
  • Audit actual enforcement practices regarding key HR policies.

To view or print the full text of this alert, click here.

For More Information

For questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact the author, a member of Polsinelli's Health Care practice, or your Polsinelli attorney:

  

 
 

  

     

  

 
         

 

 

 

  

     

  

 
 

Atlanta  Chattanooga  Chicago  Dallas  Denver  Edwardsville  Jefferson City  Kansas City  Los Angeles  New York
Overland Park  Phoenix  Raleigh  St. Joseph  St. Louis  San Francisco  Springfield  Topeka  Washington, D.C.  Wilmington
polsinelli.com

 
 

  

     

  

 
 

  

ABOUT POLSINELLI

real challenges. real answers.SM  
Polsinelli is a first generation Am Law 100 firm serving corporations, institutions, entrepreneurs and individuals nationally. Our attorneys successfully build enduring client relationships by providing practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and with a passion for assisting General Counsel and CEOs in achieving their objectives. Polsinelli is ranked 18th in number of U.S. partners* and has more than 740 attorneys in 20 offices. Profiled by The American Lawyer and ranked as the fastest growing U.S. law firm over a six-year period**, the firm focuses on healthcare, financial services, real estate, life sciences and technology, energy and business litigation, and has depth of experience in 100 service areas and 70 industries. The firm can be found online at www.polsinelli.com. Polsinelli PC. In California, Polsinelli LLP.

* Law360, March 2014
** The American Lawyer 2013 and 2014 reports

  

 
 

  

     

  

 
 

Polsinelli provides this material for informational purposes only. The material provided herein is general and is not intended to be legal advice. Polsinelli is very proud of the results we obtain for our clients, but you should know that past results do not guarantee future results; that every case is different and must be judged on its own merits; and that the choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Copyright © 2015 Polsinelli PC.

 
             
Connect with us on LinkedIn. Connection with us on Twitter. Connect with us on Facebook. Polsinelli Health Care Health Care