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ALJ Orders Wingate Healthcare, Inc. to Recognize Union, Bargain with Employees

Buffalo, NY- Administrative Law Judge Mark Carissimi issued a decision ordering Wingate Healthcare, Inc. (Wingate) to recognize and bargain with 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (Union) following an unsuccessful organizing campaign at their Fishkill, New York skilled nursing facility.

The Judge found that Wingate engaged in a series of serious unfair labor practices prior to the election in order to discourage support of the union, including threatening employees, interrogating employees about support for the union, and engaging in surveillance.  The Judge also ordered Wingate to reinstate and provide backpay to an unlawfully terminated employee.

Due to the severity of the unfair labor practices over a sustained period, Judge Carissimi agreed with the Office of the General Counsel that a Gissel bargaining order was warranted, requiring Wingate to recognize and bargain with the Union as the employees’ representative. A bargaining order can be ordered in cases where it is determined that a rerun election cannot be freely and fairly conducted due to the nature of unfair labor practices, such as employer threats and illegal employee discharge.

Parties have the right to appeal ALJ decisions to the Board. Absent the filing of exceptions, Judge Carissimi’s order is final. The Office of the General Counsel also has a 10(j) petition pending before the Southern District of the Second Circuit seeking interim relief in this case, including a bargaining order, while the administrative case is pending before the Board.

The complaint against Wingate was investigated and litigated by the Albany Resident Office in conjunction with the Regional Office based in Buffalo. Combined the two offices serve most of New York State and Vermont.

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