FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Alecto Healthcare Services, Wednesday made the decision to deny registered nurses and other former health care workers of Fairmont Regional Medical Center the wages and benefits that had previously been promised to them, according to a news release from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 WV/KY/OH. After meeting with hospital executives to bargain over the impact of the hospital closure for employees, workers learned from Alecto that they would not be paid out their earned benefit time or have their healthcare coverage extended, the union said.
“This is a slap in the face to the people and patients of West Virginia during the largest health crisis this state has ever seen,” said Joyce Gibson, Regional Director for SEIU District 1199. “Hospital executives pleaded with our nurses and other care providers to continue to provide quality care until the last day of operations, but then rewarded them by refusing to pay our members for their earned leave time like vacation, personal and sick leave,” Gibson said.
Union officials plan to file a lawsuit against Fairmont Regional Medical Center, and their parent company Alecto Healthcare Services, for violations to state and federal law, including their failure to follow the WARN Act as well as violations to labor law in order to ensure every person who worked at the hospital receives the pay and benefits they were promised, the news release said.
“What Alecto did to the people of the Fairmont community should be criminal,” continued Gibson. “To shutter the doors of Fairmont Hospital at a time when people in West Virginia need every doctor, nurse, and care provider they can find is inhumane and will put more lives at risk in our community,” Gibson stated.
Union leaders said they will be having conversations with their members and legal representatives about next steps and potential legal actions against Alecto.