When the United States Supreme Court decides an issue, it is binding on all federal courts throughout the country. For that reason, when important issues are at stake in a case being heard by the Court, all those with an interest in the matter often want their voices to be heard. Our Illinois nursing home attorneys know that even individuals who are not named in a suit might be affected down the road by the legal principle decided in the case.
All parties in a case submit a formal, written document to the court referred to as a “brief.” The brief lays out all of the party’s arguments in the case advocating why the lower court decision was right or wrong. The brief, in conjunction with a question and answer hearing in front of the nine justices, are used by the Court to reach a decision. In addition, interested parties are able to file their own briefs in these cases if they are affected by the underlying issues being resolved. These documents for third parties are known as briefs amicus curiae.
Consumer Voice Amicus Curiae
For example, the Consumer Voice is set to file a brief amicus curiae in a case set to be heard by the court, Kindred Nursing Centers East v. National Labor Relations Board. Nursing home neglect attorneys across the country appreciate that the issues decided in this case may ultimately affect care received by residents in long-term care facilities everywhere.
As we often share, the Consumer Voice is one of the nation’s leading advocates for nursing home residents and their families. One of our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys, Steven Levin, is on the group’s Leadership Board. The Consumer Voice, like all senior care advocates, understand that the one of the most important parts of ensuring quality care at one of these facilities is a stable, well-qualified, and properly sized workforce. Failure to have this workforce in place is one of the prime underlying causes of mistreatment at these facilities.
This particular case involves collective bargaining arrangements at nursing homes for CNAs-certified nursing assistants. The amicus curiae brief argues that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was proper in exercising its statutory authority in deciding that the CNA group at the facility was a proper unit for collective bargaining.
The case is important in setting a precedent for the rights of CNA workers at facilities across the country. Empowering this group of employees is crucial in ensuring that they have adequate working conditions. The quality and stability of the workforce has direct implications on care provided to seniors at these homes.
The brief makes clear that CNAs play a unique role in nursing homes which make them distinct from other nursing home occupations. As such, the decision by the NLRB to treat these groups different for collective bargaining purposes was apt. Additionally, the brief argues that allowing proper collective bargaining will not undermine the industry’s ability to operate.