Attorney General Bill Lockyer Files Lawsuit Against Nursing Home Company for Failing to Comply with State Labor Law

Attorney General Seeks To Obtain Records of State Fund Expenditures

Monday, November 19, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced the filing of a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Fountain View, Inc., owners of several nursing homes in the Los Angeles area, after their repeated failure to comply with state law and turn over documents detailing the source of funds used to pay for their alleged anti-union activities.

The Attorney General's office is investigating complaints that Fountain View, Inc. used state funds to hire a private consulting firm, Russ Brown Associates, to deter union organizing at three separate nursing homes. The firm allegedly held meetings with nursing home workers in an attempt to dissuade them from joining a union, which could be in violation of a new state law, AB 1889, effective January 1, 2001.

"Workers should be free to exercise their own will in deciding whether or not to join a union," Lockyer said. "Using state funds to either encourage or discourage union organizing violates the state's commitment to remain neutral in these matters."

This is the first-ever legal action taken to enforce a new state law that prohibits private employers receiving more than $10,000 in state funds in one calendar year from using those funds to assist, promote or deter union organizing. According to the statute, any private employer who is governed by this law must maintain sufficient records showing that no state funds were used for union activities and must provide those records to the Attorney General upon request. The suit seeks a court order compelling Fountain View, Inc. to produce these records.

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