Johns Hopkins Hospital retaliated against 2 unionizing nurses, complaint says

The National Nurses United is accusing Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital of retaliating against two nurses involved in a unionization effort, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The union's complaint, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, alleges hospital officials were contentious toward the nurses for their involvement in the effort, the Sun report states.

The complaint specifically points to the firing of one of the nurses. That nurse said she lost her job when she was pregnant and had requested family leave, according to the report. The nurse, an African American woman, also alleged racial discrimination after her involvement in an effort at the hospital for fairness and equity in her unit.

In a separate complaint to the NLRB, nurses have also alleged that Johns Hopkins officials interfered in unionization efforts. They accuse the hospital of prohibiting nurses from discussing union issues at work and visiting the hospital on their days off to talk to colleagues who were on their breaks about organizing.

The NLRB has found enough merit to probe the allegations and has scheduled a hearing March 6 during which nurses and hospital management will testify.

Johns Hopkins nurses said they began organizing efforts last year because of "inadequate conditions and other standards, compared to other nationally recognized university hospitals."

The nurses say the work conditions are leading to high nurse turnover at the hospital.

Hospital spokesperson Ken Willis stood behind the hospital, according to a statement to Becker's.

"We deeply respect our nurses, their contributions to our organization, and all of their rights as employees including their right to support or oppose a union," he said. "As a standard practice we do not discuss individual personnel matters. In all cases, we follow a standardized and rigorous human resources process before any employee is dismissed. We believe the union's charges lack merit, and we stand by our workplace practices."

 

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