The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) August 28 ruled that Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, Kan., violated the National Labor Relations Act by denying two nurses’ requests for a union representative when they appeared before its nursing peer review committee, and by failing and refusing to provide information requested by the union relating to the peer review process.
Rejecting the hospital’s contention that allowing a union representative to accompany employees to nursing peer review committee meetings would interfere with legitimate employer objectives, the NLRB found that the employees “reasonably believed that discipline was a possible outcome when they appeared before the [committee], and therefore, by continuing their interviews after denying the employees’ requests for a union representative,” the hospital violated the law.
The board also rejected the hospital’s argument that the requested information is confidential because the deliberations of a peer review body are protected by a state law privilege. The NLRB said the hospital “failed to establish a legitimate and substantial confidentiality interest in any of the requested information.”
The AHA in February 2014 joined the Kansas Hospital Association, Texas Hospital Association and Texas Nurses Association in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the hospital.