A regional director of the US National Labor Relations Board recently ordered an election for physicians to vote on whether they want to unionize. The votes showed that a determinative majority of ballots had been cast overwhelmingly in favor of the union—of 43 eligible voters, 29 voted for the union, three voted against, and three ballots were challenged and not counted. On March 15, the National Labor Relations Board certified the union as the bargaining representative.
The union’s petition sought to represent Piedmont Health Services Inc.’s community health center medical providers—defined as physicians, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and physician assistants (Providers).
Piedmont Health Services Inc. argued that the petition should be dismissed for two reasons:
The Regional Director disagreed with both arguments by the company and found that:
The decision is a reminder to healthcare employers that physicians may have a right as employees to organize under the NLRA. Employers in the healthcare industry should consider reviewing their physicians’ authority to supervise other patient-care staff, as well as how the employer directs and manages physicians as compared to other staff.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:
Harry I. Johnson, III
Philip A. Miscimarra
Robert E. Sheeder
Nicole A. Buffalano
Douglas R. Hart
Joseph C. Ragaglia
Steven R. Wall
Daniel P. Bordoni
David R. Broderdorf
Jonathan C. Fritts