NLRB ruling may complicate bargaining talks

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Healthcare workers employed by a staffing agency are technically employed by both the agency and the facility where they're working, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled. That decision could complicate collective bargaining talks between providers and their temporary workers.

Healthcare organizations should be involved with collective bargaining with their temporary workers, according to the ruling. Providers also could be held liable for unfair labor practice cases filed through the federal government. Healthcare positions commonly filled by staffing agencies include nursing staff, therapists, dietitians, social workers and medical billing personnel.

Staffing agencies have been considered separate from healthcare workplaces in the past, unless the workplace exerted direct control over the workers.

More than 2 million American workers were employed by temporary staffing agencies as of last August, according to the NLRB. Nine percent of those workers are employed in the healthcare industry, according to data from the American Staffing Association.