On October 6, 2014, the NLRB Region 1 Director issued a decision in a matter involving employees of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and Lawrence & Memorial Medical Group in New London, Connecticut.  See 01-RC-134298.  AFT Connecticut had been seeking to add a group of LPNs and a group of Medical Assistants employed at the nearby L+M Medical Office Building to exiting bargaining units at the hospital.  The Regional Director found that there were sufficient distinctions, including separate human resources departments, different scheduling requirements, separate supervision and little overlap to warrant these groups joining the hospital units.  This is notwithstanding the fact that certain functions, such as payroll administration, were shared or that both entities have a common owner.

The Regional Director did find that the LPNs and MAs could form a separate unit at the Medical Office Building without extending to the other facilities operated by the medical group.  Geographic separation, immediate supervision, and little interchange were found to demonstrate that LMMG was not so substantially integrated to negate the MOB’s separate identity.  The Regional Director, in light of his decision, opted not to rule on whether the entities were joint employers.

This decision demonstrates that determination of who should be in what unit and who constitutes an employer remains murky and fact specific.  The attorneys at Raymond Law Group LLC can advise and represent you should you find yourself in the midst of a representation dispute.