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Members of ALFA’s Human Resources Roundtable met with the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to exchange ideas and discuss key issues affecting senior living communities.

Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) hosted the group including ALFA Senior Director of Government Relations Paul Williams. They discussed a looming decision expected from the National Labor Relations Board affecting representation elections also known as the “ambush election rule.” Kline held a hearing on the issue March 5 expressing his concern with the NLRB’s proposal that would shorten the length of time between the filing of a union election petition and the actual election.

He told roundtable members at a private meeting: “Put the NLRB into the problematic category.”

In response to a question from Mark Nease, vice president, associate relations with Silverado, Kline said the proposed NLRB rule could be especially problematic for smaller senior living communities because it would establish “so little time to make decisions. …Without a legal department it could be difficult to figure out where to go.”

Roundtable Chair Liberty Stansberry, senior vice president of human resources at Emeritus, asked about other pressing issues to consider in 2014 and beyond.

Kline said to keep an eye on the changing healthcare market and activity coming out of the Labor Department.

Earlier in the day, roundtable members met with Littler Mendelson lawyer Maury Baskin who also expressed concerns with the NLRB proposed rule, saying it contained a host of issues that needed consideration such as privacy concerns over language allowing a final voter eligibility list to include employee email addresses and telephone numbers in addition to names and mailing addresses.

Both Baskin and Kline discussed issues at the Labor Department such as the so-called “persuader rule” that would govern how companies can communicate with employees, and recent movement on background check guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.

Kline, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps prior to congressional office, said during   the meeting that he is hoping that Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will become “more thoughtful, methodical and slower in the rulemaking process.”

Baskin, an award-winning lawyer who has argued before the Supreme and other courts, offered attendees a “to-do list” for their employers, which suggested action items such as establishing a rapid response team, establishing a clear corporate reporting structure for location-responsible personnel and to select counsel now for any future needs.

Other roundtable members attending the meeting were: Suzanne Foley (Integral Senior Living), Allen Nickerson (Carlton Senior Living), Tim Reilly (Benchmark Senior Living) and Jan Teuscher (Brookdale).

 

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