HCA, Nashville, paid $270,000 to four nurses to settle charges that the nurses were demoted from their jobs at Norton Audubon Hospital, Louisville, Ky., during its ownership by an HCA predecessor, because of union activity. The hospital was sold in 1998 by then-Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. and is now part of seven-hospital Norton Healthcare, Louisville. One nurse lost her job as a lactation specialist in 1994 when Columbia/HCA transferred positions to another hospital and offered other nurses in her unit, but not her, a chance at the jobs. She received $172,000, the largest settlement. Three other nurses were demoted from charge nurse to lower-paying positions in a 1996 restructuring. The National Labor Relations Board ruled in 2000 that the hospital demoted nurses because of their union activities, including speaking out against staffing shortages. Two of the nurses were officers of the union. -- Patrick Reilly
HCA settles antiunion case at former Ky. hospital
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