Thursday, February 21, 2008

FTC: Unionization of Home Health Aides Violates Antitrust Laws

Nurse_assistant Steve Hitov of HealthLaw.Org writes:

An interesting Federal Trade Commission response to an Ohio effort to allow independent home health workers to bargain collectively when the services they provide are reimbursed by Medicaid.  Here the FTC treats each worker as a "small business" for purposes of its
evaluation, which of course dictates the outcome (and implicitly rejects the entire concept of unionization, at least outside of a  strict employment context).  So, as things now stand with this administration, and the judges it has installed on the Supreme Court, home health workers can be forced to work long hours without overtime, and states cannot even voluntarily allow them to act cooperatively to  improve their lot.  This certainly bodes ill for home health workers,
and perhaps even more so for the vulnerable people that they serve.

BNA has more:

An Ohio executive order, designed to confer a labor exemption for  independent home care providers, is likely to result in "certain anticompetitive conduct that is inconsistent with federal antitrust law and policy," according to the Federal Trade Commission's staff, which warned that such conduct could work to the detriment of Ohio home  health care consumers.

The Feb. 14 letter from the FTC's Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition, and Bureau of Economics responded to a request by Ohio  State Sen. William J. Seitz (R) regarding Ohio Executive Order  2007--23S, issued by Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in July 2007.

Can home health aid workers get a break sometime, somewhere? Paging Peggie Smith, there is more work to be done now to educate the good folks at the FTC who seem not to understand that antitrust issues have largely been dead in the labor law environment since Apex Hosiery.

Hat Tip: "Sweet" Joe Slater

PS

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2008/02/ftc-unionizatio.html

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Comments

This is rediculous. The FTC needs to worry about more of the bigger problems in front of them. I don't think home health aid workders are going to be taking over the world anytime soon.

Posted by: phentermine no prescription | Feb 21, 2008 9:01:32 AM

Oh boy, a new reason to justify my inclusion of the Holmes dissents in the syllabus (or rather a defense to my refusal to omit them)!

Posted by: Michael Duff | Feb 22, 2008 8:59:56 AM

"Sweet"?

Posted by: Joseph Slater | Feb 25, 2008 1:52:24 PM

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