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NLRB Issues Consolidated Complaint Against Community Health Systems, Inc.

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The National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel has issued a consolidated complaint against Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS), the parent company of a nationwide chain of hospitals. The consolidated complaint alleges that CHS and seven wholly-owned subsidiary hospitals comprise a single integrated employer that has violated the National Labor Relations Act by engaging in a series of unfair labor practices. Specifically, it is alleged that CHS has violated employee rights by, among other things: maintaining rules that infringe on employees’ rights to discuss wages, hours, and working conditions with one another and to advocate for better treatment; making statements and taking actions against employees for participating in union activities; and failing to engage in good-faith collective bargaining with the unions that employees have selected as their exclusive collective-bargaining representatives.
Since Regional efforts to settle the matter with the parties were unsuccessful, a consolidated complaint issued today. The complaint involves 29 charges filed against CHS hospitals with the following NLRB Regional Offices:

Region 8 – Cleveland

Affinity Medical Center - Massillon, Ohio

Region 9 – Cincinnati

Kentucky River Medical Center – Jackson, Kentucky

Region 10 – Atlanta

Bluefield Regional Medical Center – Bluefield, West Virginia
Greenbrier Valley Medical Center – Ronceverte, West Virginia

Region 21 – Los Angeles

Fallbrook Hospital – Fallbrook, California

Region 31 – Los Angeles

Barstow Community Hospital – Barstow, California

Region 32 – Oakland

Watsonville Community Hospital – Watsonville, California
The consolidated complaint requests specific remedial relief, including: reimbursement for negotiation expenses; a make-whole remedy, including reinstatement, for employees who were the subject of discretionary discharges prior to any bargaining with the employees’ exclusive collective bargaining representatives; the reading and electronic transmission of a Notice to Employees; and a broad, corporate-wide cease and desist order given prior findings of serious unfair labor practices involving many of the facilities in the current matter. To avoid unnecessary delay and to conserve public and private resources, the General Counsel transferred all of these cases to Region 8, Cleveland, which issued the consolidated complaint. Absent settlement, the NLRB is scheduled to begin litigation in Cleveland on December 15, 2015.