Photo of Terry Potter

A former field attorney with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Terry views labor and employment cases from an insider’s perspective. He represents employers in collective bargaining, arbitrations and union avoidance techniques in a myriad of factual settings before the NLRB, National Mediation Board (NMB) and various state public labor relations boards.

Contact Us Web Email KeyIn an Aug. 27, 2015, decision, a majority of the Board found that the Purple Communications standard, with respect to an employer’s email system, would apply without exception to healthcare providers and, in particular, for acute care hospitals. Contrary to the cogent arguments put forth by member Johnson in his dissent, the majority found there should be no exception to the presumption set forth under Purple Communications that employees have a statutory right to use an employer’s email system for Section 7 related communications during non-working time. The majority also found that the hospital failed to show “special circumstances” to rebut this presumption, notwithstanding the fact that evidence was submitted of studies finding a correlation between employee distractions and patients’ safety and identifying computers and other electronic communication devices as sources of such distraction.
Continue Reading No Purple Communications exception applied to healthcare providers

While union organizing is decreasing in so many other parts of the economy, the healthcare industry remains a target.  The Service Employees International Union in particular continues in its efforts to organize healthcare facilities throughout the United States.  A recent settlement agreement through the NLRB between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Service

In a 2-1 decision in Sodexo America LLC, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held recently that the University of Southern California hospital violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act by maintaining and enforcing a rule that limited off-duty employee access to the workplace, except for specific purposes.

The policy at issue provided that:

  1. Off-duty employees are not allowed to enter or re-enter the interior of the hospital or any other work area outside the hospital except to visit a patient, receive medical treatment or to conduct hospital-related business.
  2. An off-duty employee is defined as an employee who has completed his/her assigned shift.
  3. Hospital-related business is defined as the pursuit of the employee’s normal duties or duties as specifically directed by management.
  4. Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.


Continue Reading NLRB Rejects Hospital Access Rules