South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Duties of RN Did Not Make Her a Supervisor Rather Than an Employee
Description Appeals court held that an RN, fired for circulating a petition protesting some work rules, was eligible for a hearing at the NLRB to see if her employer improperly punished her for engaging in protected activities. Her duties, which involved reporting problems of nursing assistants, did not rise to the level of a supervisory position.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Unfair Labor Practice; Protected Activities; Supervisor; NLRB
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Jochims, an RN, worked at a long-term care facility. She circulated a petition protesting a plan for a change in duty assignments, under which RNs would perform certified nursing assistant (CAN) duties at times. After she was fired, she filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB, contending she was fired for engaging in a protected activity. The NLRB held that as an RN, she was a supervisor, not a protected employee, so her complaint was dismissed. She appealed.
Decision

Remanded. The fact that RNs were responsible for “writing up” CNAs who violated work rules did not confer supervisory status. The RNs reported to management personnel about problems with CNAs and other employees. Similarly, the fact that Jochims was asked to produce a performance evaluation of an employee did not place her in a supervisory position. The NLRA enumerates the authorities a person must have to be in a supervisory capacity, and Jochims actions did not fit the definitions of the statute. Hence, she is an employee who has the right to engage in protected activities, so the NLRB will hear her complaint.

Citation Jochims v. National Labor Relations Board, 480 F.3d 1161 (D.C. Cir., 2007)

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