Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Harris Medical Center and Harris Memorial Hospital: Unfair Labor Practices or Management's Rights?

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Harris Medical Center and Harris Memorial Hospital: Unfair Labor Practices or Management's Rights?

Article excerpt

CASE DESCRIPTION

This case examines the fine line between unfair labor practices and management's rights. More specifically, this case involves the application of labor law to disputes that might arise between management and unions regarding non-solicitation and non-distribution policies. The recurring question is where does management's right to impose limits on solicitation and distribution of union related material end and the rights of employees to engage in protected activity begin. The case examines whether the hospital engaged in unfair labor practices specified by NLRA Section 8(a) when it invoked a non-solicitation and non-distribution policy. The facts present challenges that may be encountered by employers that are lax in the enforcement of non-solicitation/non-distribution policies and who might disparately enforce such policies. The scenario is also illustrative of challenges presented to the employer relative to surveillance and retaliation against employees.

The case first went to an NRLB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who ruled on each of the union's charges. Neither side was completely happy with the ruling so both sides appealed the case to the NLRB which reversed many of the ALJ's decisions!

The case has a difficulty level of three, appropriate for junior/senior level students. The case is designed to be taught in one class hour, and is expected to require one or two hours of outside preparation by students. …

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