Late last week, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced the Representation Fairness Restoration Act (S. 1843) -- legislation designed to reverse the National Labor Relations Board's August 26, 2011 decision in the Specialty Healthcare case. In that decision, the Board overruled 20 years of practice regarding how it determines the "appropriate unit" in non-acute health care facilities. More importantly, however, the NLRB has clearly signaled that it now endorses Member Becker’s long held belief that smaller units -- such as units that consist of only one department, or perhaps even one job classification -- should be permitted, rather than the current NLRB preference of favoring “wall to wall” units. Sen. Isakson's legislation would reinstate the long-standing standard for determining which employees make up an appropriate bargaining unit for the purposes of the NLRA.
The text of the bill is not yet available online, but more commentary is available:
- "Mini-Unions: Isakson is Right" - Savannah Morning News
- "Senate Bill Would Nullify Specialty Healthcare Decision" -- Littler's Labor Relations Counsel
- "RILA Welcomes Bill to Reverse NLRB Decision in Specialty Healthcare" -- Retail Industry Leaders Association