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Labor Experts Expect New NLRB Healthcare Worker Guidelines to Benefit Employers

October 20, 2006

SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 20, 2006) – Recently issued National Labor Relations Board guidelines that redefine the role of charge nurses as supervisors and exempt them from union eligibility will effect healthcare employers' approach to their workforce.  The NLRB issued the guidelines Oct. 2.

Jim Kizziar, a partner in Bracewell & Giuliani's San Antonio office, said the ruling is significant to healthcare employers because it provides concrete guidance on how to create their management structure.

"This ruling will be the impetus for hospitals to reevaluate their business organization resulting in a reorganization of the frontline supervisor positions," Kizziar said.   "Now that these permanent charge nurses are supervisors, employers will be better able to have management presence to address employee issues and counter union organization." 

Prior to the Oct. 2 guidelines, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a test which the NLRB had created to determine supervisory status citing that the test was inconsistent with the National Labor Relations Act. (NLRB v. Kentucky River Community Care Inc., 2001)

In private practice since 19778, Kizziar represents management in all aspects of labor and employment law before federal and state agencies and courts.   His practice includes litigation and preventative counseling of management on issues such as discrimination, harassment, union organizing and wage-hour issues.

To find the NLRB ruling in its entirety, visit www.nlrb.gov.