NLRB rules Howard Brown has unfair labor practices

The NRLB will now work to negotiate a settlement between the LGBTQ healthcare provider and the Illinois Nurses Association.

CHICAGO – The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Region 13 has ruled that allegations claiming Howard Brown Health has unfair labor practices have merit.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the Illinois Nurses Association (INA), the statewide nurses union, filed charges against the LGBTQ healthcare system after negotiations earlier this year.

Howard Brown Health is the largest LGBTQ healthcare provider in the Midwest with clinics across Chicago and its suburbs. The provider was subject to a strike earlier this year after laying off more than 60 employees, members of Howard Brown Health Workers United (HBHWU). HBHWU is affiliated with the INA.

According to the Tribune, the Region 13 director found merit or partial merit to allegations in eight unfair labor practice charges against Howard Brown Health, including bad faith bargaining, creating the impression of surveillance, failing to provide information, and declaring an impasse and refusing to bargain over layoffs

Tristan Bock-Hughes, a senior lead organizer with the INA, told the newspaper that the findings are vindicating.

“It is extremely encouraging to know that an employer cannot just violate the law willy-nilly without there being repercussions,” Bock-Hughes said. “These workers provide a vital service to the Chicago queer community, and Howard Brown’s actions this past winter decimated a lot of services that the Chicago queer community relies on.”

The NRLB will now pursue a settlement between the INA and Howard Brown to “make whole” the staff who were affected by the layoffs.

HBHWU celebrated the news on their social media.

“HBH should do the right thing, accept a settlement, and reinstate with full back pay the 60 employees whose rights they violated,” the organization said on their Twitter account.

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