Longmont United Hospital, which is part of Centura Health, illegally withheld increased pay and benefits from unionized nurses, according to a National Labor Relations Board ruling posted by Bloomberg Law, which first reported the decision.
The pay and benefits were denied after nurses at the hospital voted to join the National Nurses United union in 2021. Longmont United Hospital challenged the election results, and said the nurses wouldn’t be included in the wage increases until the appeal was resolved, according to the labor relation judge’s ruling issued during a hearing on March 28.
During the appeal, which was brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, nurses were denied several pay and benefit increases, the court document shows.
“Between September 2021 and October 2022, (Longmont United Hospital and Centura Health) announced to employees, and implemented, wage and/or benefit increases on four different occasions … each announcement specifically states that the Longmont registered nurses are being excluded from the increases,” the decision reads. “As of the date of the hearing, the Longmont nurses have not received any of the wage/benefit increases outlined in these memoranda. Nor has (the hospital) assured the Longmont nurses that they will receive these increases once the election issues are resolved.
The judge ruled Longmont United Hospital violated federal labor law.
“We are aware an Administrative Law Judge of the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) issued a decision on maintaining the status quo for Longmont United Hospital nurse wages and benefits,” Centura Health said in a statement issued to the Leader. “We are reviewing this decision to determine Longmont United Hospital’s response and options.”
The judge ordered Longmont United Hospital to compensate more than 200 nurses with back pay and benefits, including interest, according to the ruling.
“The judge found that Longmont United Hospital illegally withheld pay and other benefits from nurses while they were on the front lines protecting the community from the COVID-19 pandemic," National Nurses United said in a statement. "Longmont should immediately comply with the judge’s order and implement these long-overdue raises and pay them the back wage they are owed.”
The Leader reached out to the National Labor Relations Board for comment, but the board did not immediately respond.