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National Labor Relations Board v. Fairview Hospital

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS, SEVENTH CIRCUIT.


October 20, 1970

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD,*FN* PETITIONER
v.
FAIRVIEW HOSPITAL, RESPONDENT.

Before KNOCH, Senior Circuit Judge, FAIRCHILD and PELL, JR., Circuit Judges.

Order

This case is before the court upon a petition of the National Labor Relations Board pursuant to § 10(e) of the National Labor Relations Act as amended (29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.) for enforcement of its order issued against Fairview Hospital on March 20, 1969. The board's decision and order (a-34-36) are reported at 174 NLRB No. 192. This court has jurisdiction over the proceedings under § 10(e) of the Act, the alleged unfair labor practices having taken place in Chicago, Illinois.

The issues before this court on argument narrowed to the single one of whether there was substantial evidence on the record as a whole to support the board's finding that Fairview discharged an employee, Rodriguez by name, because of union activity.

On the day before an election was to be held at the hospital, Rodriguez was discharged by the hospital's executive director following a conversation Rodriguez had with a fellow employee about whether she had been brainwashed by the executive director. The hospital had a no-solicitation rule as to which there was no contention that the rule per se was invalid. As frequently happens in these cases, there was a dispute as to the factual circumstances of the discharge. Rodriguez testified that the executive director accused him of being in favor of the union and a double agent. After asking Rodriguez why he did not go to another hospital and work for the union there, she said ". . . you're for the Union, you're fired."

Freund, the director, denied the discharge was for union activities but claimed that the employee had been under observation for several months in connection with drug thefts and improper relationships with nurses while on duty and that when he violated the company's no-solicitation rule by discussing union activities during working hours her own superior advised her to discharge Rodriguez for "provoking too many situations."

While the trial examiner found no violations of the Act in the discharge by Fairview of three other employees nor in a resignation of a fourth employee and dismissed many remaining allegations of the complaint, he did find credibility in Rodriguez's testimony and that his discharge violated §§ 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(2). Respondent appeared principally to rely on the fact that a corroborating witness, who supported Rodriguez's version, was found by the trial examiner to have been discharged several days before the incident and presumably therefore he would not have been a witness. This we find insufficient to disturb the credibility finding of the trial examiner.

Since the credibility was a reasonable one under the circumstances of this case, which indicated other evidence of a background of anti-union activity on the part of the executive director, the credibility resolution is entitled to stand on our review. NLRB v. American Casting Service, Inc ., 365 F.2d 168, 174 (7th Cir. 1966); Saginaw Furniture Shops, Inc. v. NLRB , 343 F.2d 515, 516-517 (7th Cir. 1965).

Enforcement is ordered.


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