Reversing decades of its own precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a decision finding that a hospital employer did not violate federal labor law when it ejected non-employee union members who were attempting to organize employees in the hospital’s publicly accessible cafeteria.

In UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, 368 NLRB No. 2 (June 14, 2019), a divided Board overturned an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) decision and found that the NLRB’s 1982 precedent creating a “public space” exception to the general rule that allows employers to restrict non-employee union members’ access to spaces on company property was contrary to Supreme Court precedent.

The decision is in line with rulings by a number of federal appeals courts that had held previously that the so-called public space exception conflicted with a 1956 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. From a practical standpoint, the Board’s ruling now sets a uniform standard nationwide, at least for now.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here