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Saturday, June 23, 2012
EMPLOYEES OR SUPERVISORS? NURSES WIN RIGHT TO LABOR REPRESENTATION
In a published opinion that issued on Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals enforced a Board Order finding that a Michigan long-term care and rehabilitation center unlawfully refused to bargain with a unit of charge nurses. In doing so, the Court affirmed the Board's conclusion that the nurses were not supervisors under the Act.
The 43 charge nurses at Fountain View of Monroe had been represented by a union since 2003. However, when their collective bargaining agreement expired in 2009, the employer challenged their ability to be represented by a union, claiming that under the Board’s decision in Oakwood Healthcare, 348 NLRB 686 (2006), the charge nurses were supervisors and were not eligible to be represented by a union. The Board rejected that argument and ordered the employer to bargain. The order was appealed to the Sixth Circuit.
In a detailed and fact-intensive opinion, the Court rejected the employer's arguments and found that substantial evidence supported the Board's analysis of the status of the charge nurses and its finding that they are in fact employees under the Act.