Howard Brown Health Hit With Complaint From National Labor Board

Howard Brown Health sign. (WTTW News)Howard Brown Health sign. (WTTW News)

Howard Brown Health has been hit with a formal complaint and hearing notice from the National Labor Relations Board over bad faith bargaining.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

It comes seven months after Region 13 of the NLRB, which encompasses Chicago, found merit or partial merit in the Howard Brown Health Workers United’s allegations. This complaint reiterates those allegations, including declaring an impasse and refusing to bargain over layoffs.

Finding merit to these complaints led to the agency seeking a settlement between the union and management that involved reinstating the jobs of 24 workers who the NLRB found to be unfairly laid off

What’s at issue now is back pay for those 61 laid off workers. 

Katie Metos, vice president of external relations for Howard Brown Health, said the issuance of the hearing notice came as a surprise. 

She said they’re in the process of validating the back pay amount the union provided, which entails verifying that proper documents were provided, like wages, bonuses, interests and other expenses.

“It’s that documentation piece that’s kind of taking a minute,” Metos said.

Ronnie Peterson, an organizer with the Illinois Nurses Association who’s representing the union, said “they should have had those ducks in a row by now.”

Olive Autumn is an HIV/STI data entry specialist who was part of the laid off and now reinstated workers. She said she’s looking for back pay of around $20,000. It could allow her to get back into a financial comfort zone and pay off debt.

Employees are hurting without this back pay, she said.

“You can kind of hear it during union meetings, when they dropped the news of ‘hey guys, don’t expect the money anytime soon’...there’s the sort of cries of exasperation,” Autumn said.

The hearing could be avoided if the NLRB and Howard Brown Health reach a settlement before the Oct. 21 hearing date.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors