The owner of Ohio nursing homes sold two homes to another company. The new company took over the homes on July 1st. Under the takeover agreement, all employees were fired on June 30th right before midnight, including nurses’ aides, housekeepers, cooks, and others represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Employees were told of the change in ownership through a notice posted next to the time clock on June 30th. The new company hired some of the workers, did not recognize the union, and subsequently fired workers who continued to support the union.
Pro-union employees contacted their SEIU representative who went to the home’s office and asked the president of the new company if he would recognize the union. He said no and asked her to leave.
Shortly after June 30th, the new company changed the terms of employment by banning smoking, requiring employees to purchase new uniforms, eliminating shift differentials in pay, and wiping out accrued paid time off. The president also emphasized that none of his homes were unionized and that these would be no different. He continued, “employees could unionize later if they wished, but that he did not believe they would need union representation.”
There are right ways and wrong ways to eliminate a union from a company. Here, the new company chose the wrong way.
Matt Austin who owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 285-5342 or email him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.