New York judge throws out "Employer Gag Law"

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A federal court judge in New York has thrown out the state's "Employer Gag Law" that had prohibited nursing homes and other health care providers from speaking with their workers during a union campaign.

The ruling will allow nursing homes to continue a dialogue with their employees and employees will have the opportunity "to hear both sides of the unionization debate," said Daniel Sisto, president of Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS).
 
HANYS, which represents 550 nonprofit and public nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare organizations, filed the lawsuit with four other groups, claiming their right to free speech was being violated by the gag rule.

The law, also known as the "Union Neutrality Law" prohibited providers from using state funds to discourage or encourage union organizing efforts. The law applied to nursing homes because they receive money from multiple sources and have no way to distinguish between a "state fund" dollar and any other dollar, HANYS argued.