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Supreme Court Invalidates Union Fee Requirements Imposed on Homecare Employees

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Illinois law that required homecare providers for Medicaid recipients to pay fees to a union. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court held that compulsory union agency fees imposed on Illinois homecare workers violated the First Amendment. The Court, however, did not issue a more expansive ruling that would have overruled Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed., 431 U.S. 209 (1977) and affected public-sector unionization and agency fees as a whole. While the Court's decision was narrow, it has widespread implications for the home healthcare industry as many...

Massachusetts Governor Signs Compromise Health Care Staffing Bill

The Governor of Massachusetts on Monday, June 30, 2014, signed into law a bill (H 4228) that dictates nurse staffing levels in intensive care units in all the state’s hospitals. An Act for Patient Limits in All Hospital Intensive Care Units will require a one- or two-patient-per-nurse ratio in intensive care units depending on the stability of the patient “as assessed by the acuity tool and by the staff nurses in the unit, including the nurse manager or the nurse manager’s designee when needed to resolve a disagreement.”  According to the text of the bill,...

Another Federal Court Decertifies FLSA Collective Action in Automatic Meal Break Deduction Case

A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently became the latest judge to decertify an FLSA collective action based upon an automatic meal deduction policy. The case, Desilva v. North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Inc., was brought by a group of employees who worked at several different facilities operated by the health system. The plaintiffs claimed the employer’s alleged practice of automatically deducting 30 minutes per shift from each employee’s pay for meal periods violated the FLSA and parallel provisions of the New...

California Appellate Court Refuses to Certify Meal and Rest Break Class Action

Following Brinker and the growing number of  issues and decisions in its wake, a recent California Court of Appeals decision is welcome news for employers faced with meal and rest break class actions.  In an unpublished decision, Sutter Health Wage and Hour Cases, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, upheld an order denying certification of a putative class of 21,000 registered nurses who worked for Sutter Health and 18 of its affiliates in 29 California hospitals. The nurses brought claims under California state wage and hour laws in three...

Nurse's Vaccination Refusal on Secular Grounds Not Misconduct, New Jersey Court Rules

Hospitals that require caregivers to be immunized against influenza are often sued to force them to exempt employees with religious objections from getting the shots, but last week a New Jersey court turned the argument for religious exemption on its head when it ruled in favor of a nurse whose objections to vaccination were purely secular.The question before the court was not whether a hospital can require flu shots or lawfully fire an employee who refuses to get one.  The ruling concerned whether under New Jersey law such a refusal is “misconduct connected with the work”...

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Format: 2014-07-28
Format: 2014-07-28