HealthBridge Management LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for five of its Connecticut nursing home facilities, citing employee pension and benefit costs threaten future operations.
As a result of recorded losses in the past, the Chapter 11 filing could mean that state receivership is in the future, according to the Connecticut Post.
Under Connecticut statute, a nursing home can be placed in the hands of a state-appointed receiver if the facility is either financially unstable or has had a bad record of care.
The filing is HealthBridge’s latest move in its the ongoing dispute with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over employee contracts.
In 2011, HealthBridge failed to reach an agreement in negotiating contracts, claiming it cannot afford to comply with conditions under the expired 2004 agreement.
The new conditions would require workers to pay $7,300 a year for family health coverage, while also reducing other benefits such as paid sick days and vacations.
Workers belonging to District 1199 of the New England Health Care Employees responded with a strike, one that has lasted since July 2012 while HealthBridge and labor unions spent more than a year and a half prior to then trying to reach a deal.
HealthBridge has since taken several measures against labor unions, including filing a lawsuit usually exercised against the mob—claiming violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act (RICO).
The company based its reasoning on accusations that the union’s displayed unsavory negotiation actions, saying it “abandoned traditional organizing methods and contract negotiations.” Additionally, HealthBridge regarded the union’s quest for compensatory damages as “extortion.”
Later that year in December 2012, a federal judge in Hartford ordered that HealthBridge reinstate hundreds of the companies workers who had been on strike for months.
Several months later in February 2013, HealthBridge reached out to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for an emergency reprieve on the court order that called for the reinstitution, basing its request on a recent federal ruling against President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the labor board, calling them unconstitutional.
It did not take more than a few hours for Justice Ginsburg to deny the request, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But the denial has not stopped HealthBridge, as the company said it plans to draft another reprieve application of the reinstitution court order, only this time directed to Justice Antonin Scalia.
While HealthBridge has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its five Connecticut nursing facilities, the company has not filed for itself.
Written by Jason Oliva