Ask the legal expert: how to defeat an attempt to unionize employees

Share this article:
Attorney John Durso, Ungaretti & Harris LLP
Attorney John Durso, Ungaretti & Harris LLP
With the continued threat of the Employee Free Choice Act, or a bill similar to it, what steps can a long-term care facility undertake to defeat an attempt to unionize employees?

All organizations serving seniors must consider action now to keep their workforce union-free. Issues such as job dissatisfaction, heavy workloads, wages, and inattention by management over workers' concerns trigger labor organizing efforts.

Solving workforce issues before labor unrest occurs is key to a union-free environment. 

Maintaining an open line of communication between management and employees can help avoid dissatisfaction. Your organization also could consider a workplace audit that focuses on employees' views of management and job satisfaction. Listening and proactively responding fairly to audit responses will ensure that the workplace does not become a union breeding ground.

A facility should adopt policies that deter union activity before union organization occurs and provide useful tools in the event of an organization campaign. Such policies might include prohibiting employee visitors in the workplace, a well-communicated grievance and dispute resolution procedure, a no-solicitation policy (including written literature), and a policy preventing personal use of business property (including e-mail).

But to reiterate: These policies are more difficult to adopt after union organization begins. They not only might be less effective, but such activity also could be considered an unfair labor practice. Implementing such a policy could expose the employer to penalties under the National Labor Relations Act.
Share this article:

More in News

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.