Stephanie Ostrowski Oct. 31, 2012, 2:26pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - An Ohio nursing home was ordered by a federal judge to offer about 20 union employees reinstatement after they were not retained when the facility went under new management.

The new management also did not recognize and bargain with the union that had represented employees before the change.

The National Labor Relations Board's petition was granted by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin for a temporary injunction after siding with the agency that there was reasonable cause to believe JAG Healthcare, Inc., refused to hire former union employees to avoid union obligations.

According to testimony, when JAG took over operations of Galion Pointe, LLC, on July 1, 2010, the chief executive told a group of employees that none of his nursing homes were union and "none of them will be union."

All employees were asked to reapply for their jobs. Fifteen were rehired of the original 37 and the remaining positions were filled with staff and supervisors from other JAG facilities.

New rules included employees being forbidden from soliciting support from any union groups and facility personnel were ordered to call police if union organizers were on the premise.

Three of the rehired employees were fired, allegedly for union activities.

By the court ruling, JAG is required to reinstate the three fired employees, to rescind rules prohibiting employees from union activities and discussions during times not associated with patient care, and to cancel unilateral changes made to wages, hours and working conditions for bargaining with employees.

Charges were filed by the Service Employees International Union through the summer of 2010. The trial experienced several delays.

The decision in the case made July 27 by Administrative Law Judge Geoffrey Carter found that JAG Healthcare committed multiple unfair labor practices. The injunction issued Oct. 23 will remain in effect throughout any Board review of that decision.

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