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Three Employees return to work with back pay for wrongful termination

March 13, 2014

NEWPORT, OR—During a campaign with Pacific West Ambulance, a division of Metro West and Bay Cities Ambulance, management wrongfully treated and fired three employees with suspicion of participating in union activities.

“This is a huge victory for the affected employees,” said IAEP National Director Philip Petit. “The employer’s actions during this campaign were grossly illegal and had a chilling effect on anybody who wanted to support the formation of a union. We hope this will help re-ignite their fire and interest in standing up united to gain their own voice in the workplace.”

According to the National Labor Relations Act, you have the right in America to join or support a union and to engage in collective bargaining. Under the act workers have the right to:

  • Attend meetings to discuss a union
  • Read, distribute and discuss union literature as long as it is done in non-work areas.
  • Sign a card asking your employer to recognize and bargain with the union.
  • Sign petitions or file grievances related to wages, hours, working conditions, or other job issues.
  • Ask other employees to support the union, to sign union cards or petitions or to file grievances.
  • The first employee, Monica Parker, was terminated for being suspected as pro-union. Her husband is the president of the local IAFF chapter in Lincoln County where Pacific West Ambulance is located. The termination was initiated by refusing to let her come back from maternity leave. The second, Matt Smith, was terminated after witnessing and experiencing voter tampering at the election site by the owner of the company. He complained to the union and the union filed charges with the NLRB. When asked to testify, Smith refused out of fear of reprisal from the company. After the window to appeal the election closed, Matt was fired. The last employee, Trisha Cress, was discriminated against for supporting the union organizing campaign.

    After ULPs (Unfair Labor Practice) were filed against the company with the National Labor Relations Board, all three employees received settlements for wrongful termination. An employer must respect the rights under the National Labor Relations Act. It is illegal for an employer to threaten employees with loss of jobs or benefits if they join or vote for a union, to question employees about their union support or activities, or to transfer, lay-off or terminate employees because they engaged in union activities.

    Monica Parker received a settlement of $17,000.00 and a re-employment offer. Matt Smith received a settlement of $19,511.59, plus $246.43 interest, $56.16 excess tax reimbursement and a re-employment offer. Trisha Cress was awarded a settlement of $47,199.25, plus $1,097.39 interest, $338.23 excess tax reimbursement and a re-employment offer.

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