The National Labor Relations Board is hitting a nursing home operator for “unlawfully” suspending a merit-based raise program.
The case in question is between Windsor Redding Care Center and the SEIU United Service Workers-West. Windsor Redding allegedly suspended and discharged a nursing assistant, despite one administrative law judge finding that the home had expressed “animus” toward the union. Plus, the home “unlawfully” suspended a merit raise program, the board said. And despite it retroactively granting those raises to remedy the violation, the employer was obligated to maintain past timing of those pay bumps, the NLRB found, according to Bloomberg.
The state of California and federal government informed Windsor Redding in 2011 that they’d be making cuts to both Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursements. It was around then that the facility notified SEIU that it was suspending merit pay raises due to those cuts. The NLRB found that the nursing home kept a list of employees who would receive retroactive raises if those cuts were ever rescinded.
“However, the respondent refused the union’s demand to bargain over its decision, stating that, because raises are dependent on government reimbursement rates, it was following past practice by discontinuing raises due to the significant cuts.”
Those Medi-Cal cuts were undone in May 2012, with raises resuming an administrative law judge dismissed the complaint from the union, for straying from its past practices. “By deviating from its practice without affording the union an opportunity to bargain, the respondent violated the act.”
As such, the board orders that Windsor Redding Care Center reinstate Angela Rowland to her former jor or an equivalent position. Plus, it wants the nursing home to make her whole for any loss of earnings or benefits, among other things. It also wants the facility to make affected employees whole for any earnings or benefits lost following its “unlawful suspension” of the merit pay program.