D.C. Circuit dismisses NLRB charges against medical center

Court says president’s comments didn’t violate the NLRA

If the past few months are any indication, it seems the D.C. Circuit has it out for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

In January, the appeals court ruled that President Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate and appointed two individuals to fill vacancies on the NLRB in January 2012 during what he thought was a recess break. Since the decision, Republicans have claimed that all the board’s decisions have been invalid since the recess appointments. The controversy also has sparked lawsuits challenging 2012 NLRB decisions.

And last week, the D.C. Circuit ruled that the NLRB erred when it found that an Arizona medical center violated labor laws when it threatened employees and fired a worker during a unionization campaign. The medical center’s president had told employees that if they voted to unionize, they would no longer be negotiating with him directly. The NLRB found that his statements constituted a threat that negotiations with the medical center would completely stop.

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit dropped two charges against the medical center and kept a third related to retaliation. In its opinion, the court said it was “baffled by the Board’s interpretation” of the medical center’s president’s statement. It also disagreed with the NLRB’s finding that the medical center fired an employee for his role in the unionization campaign.

Read Thomson Reuters for more information.

For more recent NLRB news from InsideCounsel, read:

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D.C. Circuit rules recess appointments unconstitutional

Ashley Post

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