As NLRB Chairman Wilma B. Liebman departs after almost 14 years of service under three U.S. Presidents, the NLRB will once again be short-handed as there will be only three members. Before she left, however, Chairman Liebman and the two other Democratic appointees decided three important cases overruling previous pro-employer decisions.
Appropriate Bargaining Unit Determinations
In a 3-1 decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, the Board found that Certified Nursing Assistants at a nursing home may comprise an appropriate bargaining unit without including all other non-professional employees. This overrules the Board’s 1991 decision in Park Manor, which had adopted a special test for bargaining unit determinations in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other non-acute health care facilities. The majority stated that the appropriate unit determinations for employees in non-acute care medical facilities will be subject to the same "community of interest" standard traditionally applied to other workplaces. In Specialty Healthcare, the NLRB ruled that where an employer argues that a proposed unit inappropriately excludes certain employees, the employer will be required to prove that the excluded employees share “an overwhelming community of interest” with employees in the proposed unit.
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