6:37 AM Eastern - Thursday, June 30, 2011

Workers to Pocono Medical Center: You Can't Do That! #default

Lab Phlebotomist Rafelina Caraballo, pictured here with her three children, was illegally fired after 7 years as an employee with PMC.

PHOTO: Rafelina Caraballo, pictured here with her three children, was illegally fired after 7 years as a Lab Phlebotomist at Pocono Medical Center.

We should file this one under: "Can they really do that?"

The short answer should be: "Only if we let them."

How Pocono Medical Center (PMC) thought it would get away with flagrant disregard for the law, no one knows, but what we do know is that they're busted and going to trial on August 15th.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a formal complaint against PMC for its unlawful activity. Following a two-month investigation, the NLRB has charged PMC management for a whole laundry list of bad behavior.

The Board singled out HR Vice President Lynn Lansdowne and other members of PMC management for:

  • Illegally firing Rafelina Caraballo - a Lab Phlebotomist, dedicated 7-year employee and mother of three.
  • Interfering with employees' rights to talk to about workplace issues and meet with union representatives on their own time.
  • Threatening employees and engaging in unlawful surveillance of employee activities.

Rafelina did the right thing and called out PMC for violating the terms of the contract between SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and PMC. But instead of correcting the issue and thanking Rafelina for her dedicated service.... they fired her. Can they do that? No!

"I was simply speaking up about something I thought was unfair," she said at a recent press conference.

Not only was it unfair that PMC violated the terms of her contract, it was also illegal for them to retaliate against Rafelina for simply pointing it out. The NLRB viewed PMC's behavior in firing Rafelina for speaking up so outrageous, they saw fit to file a complaint against the company.

To highlight how miserable PMC is: Rafelina was once nominated to be Employee of the Month for her outstanding work and dedication to her patients and the facility as a whole. During the holidays, she has been known to deliver presents to nursing home residents she visits on her rounds collecting blood samples - a real die-hard advocate for her patients, which PMC apparently could care less about.

Per the NLRB's procedures, an administrative law judge from Washington, D.C., will determine whether labor laws were violated after an August 15th hearing in the Monroe County Administrative Center. PMC is only getting its day in court because of strong union members like Rafelina who aren't afraid to speak out. It's a reminder to all of us that holding law-breaking corporations accountable takes more than a contract.

So, can they do that?

Not if we don't let them.

Spread the word

Comments about Workers to Pocono Medical Center: You Can't Do That! are welcome. Off-topic comments and other violations of our community guidelines may be withheld or removed. Comments do not appear immediately after posting.
blog comments powered by Disqus