The National Labor Relations Board Friday reinstated its traditional community-of-interest standard for determining an appropriate bargaining unit in union representation cases, abandoning the standard established in the 2011 Specialty Healthcare case. In the 3-2 decision, the board cited “sound policy reasons” for returning to the standard it has applied throughout most of its history, which permits the board to evaluate the interests of employees both within and outside the petitioned-for unit without regard to whether those groups share an “overwhelming” community of interests. AHA has objected to the 2011 standard, noting that the traditional standard properly balanced the National Labor Relations Act's community-of-interest standard and the board's policy against the proliferation of bargaining units while imposing the fewest barriers to the integrated delivery of health care.

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