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ALJ Win on the heels of 10(j) Injunctive Relief in Queen of the Valley Medical Center

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San Francisco, CA - On February 28, 2018, Administrative Law Judge Sharon Steckler (the ALJ) issued her decision in Queen of the Valley Medical Center, 20-CA-191739, et al. finding that that Queen of the Valley Medical Center (the Employer) violated Section 8(a)(5) of the Act by unlawfully withdrawing recognition from the National Union of Healthcare Workers (the Union) and refusing to bargain with the Union with regard to the bargaining unit, the non-professional and technical workers employed at the Employer’s Napa facilities. The ALJ also found that the Employer unlawfully threatened employees, denied them union representation during an investigatory interview, refused to provide information to the Union, and made unilateral changes to the employees’ working conditions. In addition to the traditional remedy of requiring the Employer to bargain with the Union, the ALJ also recommended enhanced remedies including an extension of the certification year per Mar-Jac Poultry, 136 NLRB 785 (1962).

This ALJD win follows Northern District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granting Region 20’s petition for a preliminary injunction against the Employer on November 30, 2017.  (Coffman v. Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Case No. 4:17-cv-05575-YGR (N.D. Cal.)) In her order, Judge Gonzalez Rogers found the Region presented persuasive evidence that the Employer recognized and bargained with the Union as the exclusive, Board-certified representative of the unit until March 16, 2017, when it withdrew recognition and refused to bargain with the Union in violation of Section 8(a)(5) of the Act, and that the Employer discriminated against an employee for his Union support in the lead up to the representation election in violation of Section 8(a)(3). Accordingly, the Court’s order required the Employer to cease and desist from making retaliatory changes to employees’ terms and conditions of employment, refusing to recognize and bargain with the Union, unilaterally implementing changes to employees’ terms and conditions without first providing the Union notice and an opportunity to bargain, refusing to furnish the Union with relevant requested information, and denying employees Weingarten right to a union representative during an investigatory interview. Judge Gonzalez Rogers also ordered the Employer to rescind the retaliatory change to the Union supporter’s schedule, bargain in good faith with the Union, including rescinding any unilaterally-implemented changes upon request by the Union and furnishing requested information, restore the Union’s access to the facility, and permit employees to have a union representative represent them during investigatory interviews. The order further required the Employer to post and read the order to its employees. On December 13, 2017, the Ninth Circuit granted the Employer’s request for a temporary administrative stay pending resolution of the stay motion. The stay motion and appeal are currently before the Ninth Circuit.

Region 20 Field Attorney Marta Novoa tried the unfair labor practice hearing and represented the Board in the 10(j) proceeding. Region 20 Field Examiner David MacIntyre investigated the cases.