Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk

A long-term care provider in Georgia that decided not to recognize a union-organizing effort in 2008 has had its decision affirmed by a federal appeals court in Washington. Observers say the case could be a bellwether for hundreds of other cases.

LaurelBaye Healthcare of Lake Lanier, in Buford, GA, refused to accept aunion unit organized through a National Labor Relations Boardelection because, the provider claimed, the NLRB lacked athree-member quorum to make legitimate decisions. The U.S. Court ofAppeals in Washington agreed with the provider.

Twosimilar cases, in the 1st and 7th circuits,were decided in favor of the NLRB; several other cases are pendingaround they country. Some observers believe the mixed results makethe issue predestined for the U.S. Supreme Court.