Beth Israel Hospital v. NLRB

In Beth Israel Hospital v. NLRB, 437 U.S. 483 (1978), at issue was that hospital's rule against solicitation in its cafeteria and coffeeshop. The Court, in the course of affirming a decision of the Board that struck down the no-solicitation rule, described the Board's general approach to such rules. "The Board concluded that prohibiting solicitation in immediate patient-care areas was justified and required striking the balance against employees' interests in organizational activity. The Board determined, however, that the balance should be struck against the prohibition in areas other than immediate patient-care areas such as lounges and cafeterias absent a showing that disruption to patient care would necessarily result if solicitation and distribution were permitted in those areas." Id., at 495. The Court found no merit in Beth Israel's argument that the Board's use of such a presumption was inconsistent with the legislative intent underlying extension of the Act to nonprofit health-care institutions. The Congress has committed to the Board the task of striking the appropriate balance among the interests of hospital employees, patients, and employers, a role familiar to the Board in other contexts. Beth Israel Hospital v. NLRB, supra, at 496-497, 500-501; Hudgens v. NLRB, 424 U.S. 507, 521-523 (1976). And the balance struck by the Board-solicitation on nonwork time may be prohibited only where necessary to avoid disruption of patient care or disturbance of patients-is not inconsistent with the Act. Beth Israel Hospital v. NLRB, supra, at 497-500. Accordingly, the Court held "that the Board's general approach of requiring health-care facilities to permit employee solicitation and distribution during nonworking time in nonworking areas, where the facility has not justified the prohibitions as necessary to avoid disruption of health-care operations or disturbance of patients, is consistent with the Act." 437 U.S., at 507.