The AHA and Federation of American Hospitals today urged the National Labor Relations Board to consider hospital electronic communication systems as a virtual “patient care area,” and to reestablish a previous NLRB standard that would lawfully permit hospital employers to limit employees’ use of these systems to communicate about union organizing and other National Labor Relations Act Section 7 protected activities. The current NLRB legal standard, established in the case of Purple Communications, 361 NLRB 1050 (2014), gives employees a presumptive right to use their employer-provided email system for such communication. “A legal standard that gives employees a right to use patient care-focused ECS in order to communicate about non-patient care matters, such as solicitations for union organizing, would interfere with the fundamental mission of any hospital,” AHA and FAH said in an amicus brief. “ECS designed and implemented for the purposes of improving the delivery of patient care should not be allowed to be hijacked for other purposes.” The associations’ amicus brief responds to the Aug. 1 NLRB Notice and Invitation to File Briefs in Caesars Entertainment Corporation d/b/a Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 15, Local 159, AFL-CIO. 

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