Prime Healthcare Must Pay $6.5 Million in Lost Wages to 500 Employees, NLRB Rules

Prime Healthcare Must Pay $6.5 Million in Lost Wages to 500 Employees, NLRB Rules

[Oct. 25, 2016] LOS ANGELES – The National Labor Relations Board has ordered Prime Healthcare to pay an estimated $6.5 million in lost wages to 500 employees at two Southern California hospitals after refusing to issue the negotiated annual raises each of the last five years.

The NLRB judge’s ruling confirmed that Prime owed “anniversary” raises to employees at Encino Medical Center and Garden Grove Medical Center since November 2011, as required in their negotiated contract with the workers’ union, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW).

“This is just the latest example of Prime Healthcare failing to live up to its commitments to patients and employees and being ordered to do so by a judge,” said Kenton Smartt, a CT Technologist at Encino Medical Center. “Sadly, Prime has shown time and again that it puts profits over patients, workers and the community.”

A regional NLRB judge had previously ruled in 2014 that Prime Healthcare violated the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to award Encino and Garden Grove workers raises on their employment anniversaries. Prime Healthcare appealed that decision to the full NLRB in Washington, D.C, which rejected the appeal.

The latest ruling marks the fifth setback for Prime Healthcare in the last year:

  • In June 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Prime Healthcare’s appeal of a decision dismissing an anti-trust suit Prime filed against SEIU-UHW, thereby ending the lawsuit;
  • In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice joined a Medicare fraud lawsuit against Prime Healthcare, saying it found merit to the claims brought by a Prime employee who said the company increased corporate revenue by wrongly admitting Medicare patients for overnight stays;
  • In February 2016, a judge from the NLRB ordered Prime Healthcare to honor a contract agreement affecting 1,100 of its employees in Southern California that the company had refused to implement since November 2014; and
  • In November 2015, the NLRB issued a decision requiring Prime Healthcare to reimburse 630 employees at Centinela Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif. an estimated $1.6 million for illegally cutting workers’ healthcare benefits over a five-year period.