After a six-year legal battle with Los Angeles County, a group of about 670 county-employed physicians will share a $10.1 million settlement stemming from claims they were denied back pay and benefits when they joined a union in 1999. That will amount to about $15,075 per doctor. The doctors allege—via the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, Oakland, Calif., which negotiated the settlement—that their employers unlawfully reduced or removed their benefits after they joined the union about eight years ago. In July 2005, a state appeals court ruled that the county violated state law by forcing the newly unionized doctors to accept a lesser benefit plan between January 2002 and January 2004. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the settlement last week. For the union, the settlement was bittersweet. Three years after joining the union, the county-employed physicians, concerned about the loss of benefits, voted to decertify and leave the organization. Union officials say they now expect the doctors to consider rejoining.
Union docs win millions in back pay
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