The AHA and Federation of American Hospitals today urged the National Labor Relations Board to affirm its long-standing position requiring the consent of both employers if a bargaining unit combines a sole employer’s workers with those found to be joint-employees with another employer. Joint employees, such as traveler nurses supplied by third-party agencies, work alongside a hospital’s own employees and play a vital role in the hospital’s delivery of patient care and other services, the organizations said in an amicus brief. “[A]lthough the two groups of employees may share some interests, their interests on other important subjects diverge sharply,” the brief notes. Changing the Board’s requirement that both employers consent could force a hospital to bargain in relation to a unit that includes groups of workers with “competing interests and [for which] the hospital may not exercise any actual control over the [worker’s] terms and conditions of employment,” the brief states. “These non-cohesive units would make bargaining exponentially more difficult and thus increase the risk of potentially disruptive labor disputes.” The brief was filed in Miller & Anderson Inc. and Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local Union No. 19, AFL-CIO, in which the Board invited interested amicus parties to address whether the Board should eliminate its current consent requirement and other related questions.

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