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Orlando Health to Face Federal Labor Board Trial On Charges of Harassment, Violations of RN Rights

Press Release, 2/3/14

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The federal agency that oversees workplace rights will hold a hearing on multiple federal charges that Orlando Health has broken federal labor law with multiple violations of the rights of its registered nurses.

For the past several months, Orlando Health RNs have in discussion about seeking collective representation to improve patient care conditions and protect their economic standards through the National Nurses Organizing Committee-Florida, an affiliate of National Nurses United, the nation’s largest organization of RNs.

But in an attempt to suppress that effort, Orlando Health has responded, say RNs and NNOC-Florida, with a campaign of harassment against nurses. 

In response to charges brought by the RNs and NNOC-Florida, National Labor Relations Board Tampa Regional Director Margaret Diaz Friday ordered a hearing to be held at a date to be determined on violations of federal law by a number of Orlando Health managers.

The NLRB’s complaint alleges 14 unfair labor practices by Orlando Health, including: 

  • Threatening employees with reprisals because of their union activities and sympathies.
  • Interrogating employees about their union activities and sympathies.
  • Creating the appearance of spying on employees who support the union.
  • Prohibiting RNs on non-work time from communicating with other RNs about the benefits of union representation.
  • Discriminatory enforcement of off-duty access rules against employees based on their support of union representation.
  • Promising benefits to RNs if they abandon support for representation.

Orlando Health RNs today welcomed the NLRB order, and said they look forward to protection of their democratic rights.

"We hope Orlando Health will do the right thing and settle this complaint.  We should be allowed to organize without interference, intimidation, and surveillance. Our rights are being violated.  We are simply asking Orlando Health to abide by federal law," said Lynne Stakelum, RN at Dr. P Phillips Hospital

“We have asked Orlando Health to allow us to organize with out interference,” said Winnie Palmer Hospital RN Sarah Carideo-Lasher. “By their actions they have sent a clear message that they have no intention of respecting our request.”

“Adding insult to injury, Orlando Health has not only engaged in illegal activity with their campaign of fear and intimidation, but also are pulling RNs away from our patients to attend their anti union meetings,” Carideo-Lasher said. “We demand Orlando Health stop interfering with our legal right to organize, stop illegal activity, stop disrespecting employees and start treating us like the professionals we are.”

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