Charge Nurses are Not Supervisors under the NLRA, Says Sixth Circuit
In Frenchtown Acquisition Co. v. NLRB, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that nursing home charge nurses were not “supervisors” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and therefore were free to unionize. The court rejected the nursing home operator’s argument that the charge nurses were supervisors of the nursing aides, finding that they did not engage in supervisory activities, as defined by the NLRA.
The NLRA defines a supervisor as an individual who has the authority to engage in any one of the following 12 supervisory functions: hiring, transferring, suspending, laying off, recalling, promoting, discharging, assigning, rewarding, disciplining, or responsibly directing other employees.
In Frenchtown, the Sixth Circuit rejected the employer’s claim that charge nurses disciplined, hired, assigned, transferred, and responsibly directed nursing aides, engaging in a fact-intensive analysis of each of the employer’s claims. The court dissected the examples of the activities the nurses performed, reflecting not only the high level of scrutiny that is given to such claims, but also providing insight into the court’s view of the requirements for each of the supervisory functions alleged.
To learn more about the decision and its potential implications for employers, please continue reading at Littler's Healthcare Employment Counsel blog.