Nursing home that refused to recognize union supported by federal appeals court

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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.

Laurel Baye Healthcare of Lake Lanier, in Buford, GA, refused to accept a union unit organized through a National Labor Relations Board election because, the provider claimed, the NLRB lacked a three-member quorum to make legitimate decisions. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington agreed with the provider.

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