The National Labor Relations Board has agreed with a group of emergency-room physicians in Austin, Texas, finding that the doctors were punished by their bosses after voting in spring 1999 to form a union at 527-bed Seton Medical Center.
In a recent complaint, the NLRB's regional office in Fort Worth, Texas, agreed with about two dozen unionized doctors that pay bonuses were withheld as a retaliatory measure by Third Coast Emergency Physicians, a physician-management company. The unionized doctors-believed to be the first ER physicians to form a union-accused their bosses of unfair labor practices.
The labor board is expected to ask an administrative law judge to require Third Coast to bargain in good faith, determine whether the physicians are owed money and provide the union with information to which it was entitled on patient billing, collections and employee evaluations. The judge's recommendation will go to the five-member labor board for final action.