On October 6, 2014, the NLRB Region 1 Director issued a decision in a matter involving employees of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and Lawrence & Memorial Medical Group in New London, Connecticut. See 01-RC-134298. AFT Connecticut had been seeking to add a group of LPNs and a group of Medical Assistants employed at the nearby L+M Medical Office Building to exiting bargaining units at the hospital. The Regional Director found that there were sufficient distinctions, including separate human resources departments, different scheduling requirements, separate supervision and little overlap to warrant these groups joining the hospital units. This is notwithstanding the fact that certain functions, such as payroll administration, were shared or that both entities have a common owner.
All employers should remember: Labor law applies to non-unionized situations as much as it applies if a union is in place. Two recent publications from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have reasserted this notion: one relates to social media policy, the other to internal investigations. Most employers do not have unions, but most also have formal or informal policies and procedures regarding the use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and internal investigations (sexual harassment, theft, performance).