Keck Hospital of USC, formerly the USC University Hospital, has ended a labor dispute by agreeing to pay $87,839 to four employees affected by its decision to unilaterally eliminate an extra shift bonus and a mandatory on-call schedule.
The hospital’s action triggered an unfair labor practice complaint from the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which argued the change should have been negotiated under an existing collective bargaining agreement.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) agreed, ordering the hospital to rescind its unilateral changes, bargain in good faith with the union, post a notice to employees and make employees whole for any monetary losses suffered as a result of the unilateral changes.
The hospital quickly implemented all those requirements—except the one demanding that the employees be paid their back wages. The NLRB regional board ordered full compliance and the hospital eventually agreed.
Note: Employers that are parties to collective bargaining agreements should consult their attorneys before unilaterally making changes that could violate the pact.