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In June 2016, AmSurg Corp. and Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (Envision) announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. Upon completion of the merger, which is expected to be tax-free to the shareholders of both organizations, the combined company will be named Envision Healthcare Corporation and co-headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company's common stock is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: EVHC. Bass, Berry & Sims served as lead counsel on the transaction, led by Jim Jenkins. Read more.

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Inside the FCA blogInside the FCA blog features ongoing updates related to the False Claims Act (FCA), including insight on the latest legal decisions, regulatory developments and FCA settlements. The blog provides timely updates for corporate boards, directors, compliance managers, general counsel and other parties interested in the organizational impact and legal developments stemming from issues potentially giving rise to FCA liability.

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Labor Talk Blog: In the Absence of a Negotiated Grievance Procedure, Employers Must Bargain with Unions Over Significant Employee Discipline


January 10, 2013

The NLRB recently ruled that an employer who is imposing "discretionary" and "material" discipline must consult with the union before doing so if that union has won a representation election but has not yet agreed to an initial contract. The NLRB described its ruling as the first in its "doctrinal context."

The issue was whether an employer whose employees are represented by a union must bargain with the union before imposing discretionary discipline on a unit employee. After a majority of its employees voted in favor of representation by a union, but before execution of a first collective bargaining agreement, the employer disciplined certain employees without providing the union notice and an opportunity to bargain. The NLRB concluded as a matter of policy that, where a collectively bargained grievance and arbitration system does not yet exist, as is usually the case where an employer and a union are bargaining a first contract, an employer generally may not unilaterally exercise discretion in imposing significant discipline (e.g., suspension and termination). Instead, the employer must give the union notice and an opportunity to bargain before imposing such discipline on an employee. The NLRB defined discretion to include any instance in which management reserves to itself the right to consider all the circumstances, including the severity of the offense by an employee and possible mitigating circumstances, before imposing discipline.

Of course, almost all savvy employers have a progressive discipline system that preserves discretion for the employer in determining what step of the discipline process to impose. Thus, practically speaking, according to the Board, any employer who has lost a union election but has not yet negotiated an initial contract must bargain with the union before imposing a termination or suspension on a bargaining unit employee.

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