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Federal Rules and Regulations for Union and Labor Laws

As the Assistant Director of Labor Relations for a 400-bed hospital, employing nearly 3,000 employees, of which 800 are registered nurses. The hospital is the largest hospital in the town of 102,000, competing with two other hospitals for scarce healthcare talent. You watch anxiously as the not-for-profit facility on the east side of town is under pressure from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)-Healthcare to unionize based on wages and staffing ratios. You have been asked by the Chief Labor Counsel for your opinion on the next course of action for the hospital. Since your hospital is a non-profit healthcare institution, it's important to know the guidelines that not-for-profit organizations may encounter versus for-profit companies.

What are the key Federal rules and regulations that must be known by managers before the organizing is attempted by the SEIU?

Complete the following questions:
Provide a strategic plan to prepare managers for a potential organizing attempt by the SEIU.
Describe how these work related laws affect both employers and employees.
Provide specific examples and recommendations.
Provide recommendations if the hospital should look into organizing with SEIU and why

Solution Preview

This is not intended as an assignment completion.

Union organization in a nonprofit firm is possible. However, the organizers must consider any legal aspects of organizing. Nonprofit organizations are subject to oversight and adhere to local, state, and federal laws. The nonprofit must first pay attention to its own charter, which is a set of rules governing the purpose and objectives of the organization, as well as how objectives will be accomplished. The charter is typically specific in detail and must consider the legal aspects of a nonprofit organization's tax exempt (Federal) status. Under the tax exempt status, charity organization may participate in lobbying for a specific bill or legislation. However, the nonprofit cannot participate in any activity that shows support for a specific candidate, whether for a school board director at the
local level, or a presidential candidate at the Federal level. While nonprofit workers can unionize, they may also show support for a local candidate who is involved in promoting union membership.

However, the nonprofit organization itself participate in any activity that shows support for a candidate promoting unions. This means the organization must refrain from any discussion with its employees related to support of particular candidates, whether through literature, memos, or any other means of communication. Managers must also use caution in discussion with nonprofit employees, related to support of a candidate who promotes union organization (Cohen, 2013). Employees may show support of a pro-union candidate away from the facility where they work, in order to limit association of the organization with the candidate. Employees cannot be told how to vote away from the workplace.

All employees, regardless of working with a for profit or nonprofit organization, have the legal right to organize and campaign for union membership in their organization. This is based on the National Labor Relations Act (111th Congress, in Pro Bono Partnership, 2009). Many nonprofit workers, such as those working for county, state, and federal agencies that serve the public, are members of labor unions. They pay monthly dues and enjoy the benefits of union representation. Unions represent nonprofit workers in matters of hours worked, benefits (including health, vacation, and retirement benefits), and working conditions. Though nonprofit organizations are designed to promote the good of the community (large or small), this does not give them the authority to assume workers expect less from the employer. Nonprofit workers have families they must support and are entitled to the same standard of living as those working in similar jobs in for-profit organizations. While nonprofit employees may enjoy their work and want to feel like they are contributing to the greater good, they also expect to be treated fairly. This is why many government and non-government nonprofit workers participate in unions (Cohen, 2013). Nonprofit workers and labor experts believe that if unions didn't exist for many of these workers, the nonprofit organizations might attempt to take advantage of their service focused intentions, by paying lower wages, scheduling longer work days, and reducing benefits. Many non-governmental nonprofit organizations are also finding their workers benefit from union representation and the contract negotiations process may enhance employer-employee relationships, as nonprofit employers gain a better understanding of what their workers want and need from work.

While nonprofit employees can organization and encourage ...

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