NLRB Rules in Favor of Good Samaritan Hospital
and Orders New Decertification Election
LOS ANGELES—On February 1, 2010, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled in favor of Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles, represented by Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP, and against the Service Employees International, United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU or the Union), overturning a union decertification election narrowly won by SEIU in April 2008. The ruling was based on findings that SEIU attempted to bribe voting members before an election that would have allowed Hospital employees to choose or reject union representation.
Ten days before voting began, 126 SEIU members received checks from SEIU which, in an announcement made more than a week later, the Union claimed were the reimbursement of union dues that the Hospital had allegedly over-deducted from the paychecks of employees. The announcement also suggested that the over-deductions may have been intentional and warned that employees would have no recourse against their employer without a union.
In most cases, the employees were reimbursed for much more than they were owed, sometimes as much as three times the correct amount. Some voting employees received reimbursements that were not owed; others should have received checks but did not. Overall, the Union sent checks for $12,000 over what employees were actually owed.
The NLRB concluded that the Union’s distribution of reimbursement checks improperly interfered with the election results and, therefore, overturned the election and ordered that a new election take place. SEIU had won the election by a slim margin, with 209 employees voting in favor of the Union and 180 supporting decertification.
This is Good Samaritan’s second round against SEIU. The decertification election in 2008 was a re-run of a 2007 election arising out of the same decertification petition. SEIU won that election by an extremely narrow margin, but the election was overturned after the NLRB found that the Union had interfered with results by engaging in bribery and verbal and physical coercion.
"Our employees provide outstanding service to our patients and we value our relationship with them," said Andrew Leeka, President and Chief Executive Officer of Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles. "They deserve to make a decision about representation that is free from coercion and bribery."
About Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles
Good Samaritan Hospital is a world-class nonprofit medical center affiliated with the USC Keck School of Medicine and is named as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals, 2007-2009, by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings company. The tertiary medical center’s acclaimed programs include eight nationally recognized centers of excellence (cardiovascular diseases, neurosciences, orthopedics, kidney stone service, gastroenterology, perinatology/neonatology, tertiary retinal surgery and transfusion-free medicine & surgery) and other specialties supported by distinguished physicians with national and international reputations. For more information, visit goodsam.org.
About Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP
JMBM is a full service law firm committed to providing clients with results. JMBM Labor & Employment Partner, Marta Fernandez, represents employers in state and federal employment litigation, wage and hour issues, National Labor Relations Board practice, management/union relations, discrimination claims, administrative proceedings; she and the members of JMBM’s Labor & Employment Department provide general advice and counseling in all labor and employment areas. From its offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orange County, JMBM serves its clients needs worldwide. For more information, visit JMBM.com.