July 28--0RIVERSIDE -- The National Labor Relations Board filed a lawsuit against Barstow Community Hospital, according to Courthouse News Service.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court Central District of California on July 21 claims the hospital is denying unionized nurses annual pay raises and disciplining them for working overtime. The California Nurses Association/National Nurse Organizing Committee union filed two administrative complaints against the hospital, alleging bad-faith bargaining.
Barstow Community Hospital released a short statement Thursday in response to the lawsuit.
"Barstow Community Hospital is aware of the lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relations Board. This is an interim, legal matter with no impact on our daily operations. Patients can continue to count on us for safe, quality care," spokesman John Rader said.
The hospital was part of Community Health Systems until it was part of a spinoff with 37 other hospitals this spring that formed Quorum Health Corporation.
The spinoff is intended to be tax-free to Community Health Systems and its stockholders. According to previous reports, the businesses that will comprise Quorum Health Corporation generated in 2014 unaudited annual net revenue of approximately $2.1 billion and adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization of approximately $255 million.
In March, the hospital said it was "vigorously contesting" labor violation charges levied against its parent company, at the time Community Health Systems. National Labor Relations Board hearings were held in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Los Angeles.
Courthouse News Service said the NLRB's federal complaint claims in early 2015 the hospital began requiring intensive care nurses to do electronic full-body patient assessments every four hours. It also stopped granting nurses annual pay raises and unilaterally altered its disciplinary policies on overtime, causing several union nurses to receive reprimands.
Courthouse News Service said the union requested information about these changes, including training materials, written copies of the altered policies, a list of nurses disciplined for overtime and a timeline for implementing the new rules. Courthouse News Service said NLRB claimed the hospital refused to hand over anything.
The board seeks an injunction to stop the hospital from enforcing its new policies and an order that it supply the union with the requested materials and engage in good-faith bargaining. It is represented by in-house counsel Steven Wyllie, who declined to comment.
Mike Lamb can be reached at 760-957-0613 or email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @mlambdispatch.
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