During a week that brought several notable decisions, the National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling on Friday, December 15, 2017, overturning its controversial 2011 Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB 934 (2011) (“Specialty Healthcare”) decision, which held that in order for employees to be included in a collective bargaining unit, employers had to prove the employees shared an “overwhelming community of interest” with one another.  The unions argued that the “overwhelming community of interest” burden was all but impossible to meet and effectively allowed unions to create “micro-units” of any number, group, or sub-group of employees the unions saw fit.  This in turn meant that an employer could be faced with negotiating collective bargaining agreements with multiple groups of employees who often shared the same schedule, workplace, and general terms and conditions of employment, but nonetheless were represented by different locals or divisions of the same or multiple unions.  In one particularly glaring example, the Board approved a union’s request for separate bargaining units in each of nine different graduate student departments at Yale University despite the fact that the union already represented existing, university-wide bargaining units.

Continue Reading NLRB Overturns Prior Precedent, Eliminates “Micro Units” and Discards “Overwhelming Community of Interest” Standard