From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
A New Jersey nursing home couldn’t defeat two National Labor Relations Board orders based on alleged flaws in the agency’s procedures, a federal appeals court ruled.
The ruling ended a long-running challenge by 1621 West Operating Co., which runs the Somerset Valley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. The NLRB had found that the home interfered with employee rights and unlawfully refused to bargain with a labor union, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the board in its March 14 unpublished opinion.
Writing for the court, Judge Michael A. Chagares rejected the nursing home’s claim that the NLRB action was flawed by one board member’s failure to disqualify himself.
The Third Circuit also refused to set aside an order that arose from an administrative complaint authorized by former Acting General Counsel Lafe E. Solomon. The U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2017 that Solomon didn’t have authority to act as the agency’s chief legal officer after he was nominated for a four-year term as general counsel. But the appeals court said the agency saved its right to prosecute unfair labor practice allegations against the nursing home when Richard F. Griffin, a Senate-confirmed general counsel, reviewed and ratified Solomon’s actions.
The unfair labor practice allegations against Somerset Valley arose during an organizing campaign by 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, New Jersey Region, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.
The NLRB supervised an election that the union won 38-28. The employer objected to the results, citing some union campaign tactics and an alleged lack of privacy for voters marking their ballots.
Somerset Valley’s arguments came before the board in 2011. The proceeding was assigned to a three-member panel, but Member Mark Gaston Pearce recused himself, leaving two members, the minimum number required for a board decision. The board rejected the employer’s arguments, and ordered the company to bargain with the union.
One of the members, Craig Becker, was a former counsel to the SEIU international union. Somerset Valley argued that Becker shouldn’t have participated in a case involving an SEIU affiliate because his participation created an appearance of impropriety and violated ethical standards for administrative decision-makers, but the Third Circuit disagreed.
It said federal labor law has long recognized a distinction between national or international unions and local bodies. The employer made no claim that Becker had ever worked for the SEIU’s New Jersey affiliate, and Chagares said the nursing home didn’t explain how a financial arrangement between the union bodies created an appearance of impropriety for a board member who was no longer employed by the SEIU.
The court enforced the NLRB’s order for Somerset Valley to bargain with the union.
Milly Silva, executive vice president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, told Bloomberg Law in an email that for “far too long, Somerset Valley has rejected their employees’ decision to bargain collectively—and wasted precious resources” in litigation. Silva said the union is eager to bargain with the nursing home.
Attorneys for 1621Route 22 West Operating Co. didn’t respond to a request for comment on the decision.
Judges Anthony J. Scirica and D. Michael Fisher joined in the opinion.
NLRB attorneys represented the board. Gladstein Reif & Meginniss LLP in New York represented 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, New Jersey Region. K & L Gates LLP in Newark, N.J., represented 1621 Route 22 West Operating Co.
The case is 1621 Route 22 W. Operating Co. v. NLRB, 3d Cir., No. 12-1031, unpublished 3/14/18.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)