State Attorney General’s Office To Investigate Alleged Anti-Union Activities at Antelope Valley Hospital
The office of Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) has launched an investigation into allegations that officials at Lancaster-based Antelope Valley Hospital violated state law by "using state tax dollars for antiunion purposes," the Los Angeles Times reports. The California Nurses Association alleges that the Antelope Valley Health Care District, which operates the hospital, hired consultants and lawyers to help fight the unionization of nurses at the facility and purchased anti-union fliers and other materials with state funds. The attorney general's civil rights enforcement division will investigate the allegations (Fausset, Los Angeles Times, 7/31). According to CNA, the hospital's nurses in May voted to join the union after a majority submitted signed authorization cards. Under a new state law (AB 1281) that took effect Jan. 1, union supporters can collect the signatures of a majority of nurses at a hospital to approve unionization, rather than hold an election. However, Antelope Valley officials said that the law does not override a hospital policy that requires a secret ballot election to approve unionization (California Healthline, 7/23). Gary Hill, chair of the health district, said that the hospital placed state funds into an account that "was not used for anti-union activities," adding that the attorney general's office will "find these are frivolous claims" (Los Angeles Times, 7/31).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.