United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
B. Leighton, United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff SEIU Healthcare
1199NW's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [Dkt.
#2]. On November 16, 2017, Defendant Providence St. Peter
Hospital notified SEIU of its plan to restructure certain
Health Unit Coordinator (HUC) employees' positions from
8-hour to 12-hour shifts. SEIU contends that Providence's
reorganization plan violates the parties' collective
bargaining agreement and seeks a temporary restraining order
(TRO) to enjoin Providence from implementing the restructure
pending a hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction.
Providence has been served with process but has not yet
entered an appearance in this case. Dkt. 7.
purpose of a TRO is “preserving the status quo and
preventing irreparable harm just so long as is necessary to
hold a hearing [on the preliminary injunction application],
and no longer.” Granny Goose Foods, Inc. v.
Brotherhood of Teamsters & Auto Truck Drivers, 415
U.S. 423 (1974); see also Reno Air Racing Ass'n v.
McCord, 452 F.3d 1126, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2006). To
obtain a TRO or a preliminary injunction, the moving party
must show: (1) a likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a
likelihood of irreparable harm to the moving party in the
absence of preliminary relief; (3) that a balance of equities
tips in the favor of the moving party; and (4) that an
injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. Natural
Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008).
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
SEIU meets the requirements for a temporary restraining
contends that it is likely to succeed on the merits because
the proposed restructuring and resultant layoffs violate the
plain language of the CBA. Although the Court does not yet
have the benefit of Providence's response, the
Court's review of SEIU's filings and the CBA suggest
that Plaintiff's arguments regarding the likelihood of
success on the merits are sufficiently sound.
SEIU demonstrates that immediate and irreparable harm to HUC
employees is likely in the absence of a TRO. SEIU has
included declarations from three HUC employees who have low
seniority and fear that they will lose their jobs and their
health benefits if the restructure goes forward.
the Court balances the equities of the potential delay in
implementing Providence's restructuring plan against the
potential harm to impacted HUC employees at St. Peter
Hospital. The Court concludes that the potential impact to
the 80 HUCs tips in favor of maintaining the status quo.
Plaintiff has sufficiently demonstrated that a TRO
maintaining the status quo pending a hearing on the
preliminary injunction is in the public interest.
affidavit of service indicates that Providence was served
with a copy of the lawsuit and the application for TRO on
December 12, 2017. Unsurprisingly, Providence has not yet had
an opportunity to respond. Providence's memo to employees
indicates that the restructuring will take effect on January
7, 2018. SEIU contends that layoffs may begin as
soon as December 16, 2017. Given the short timeframe, the Court
determines that the risk of irreparable harm to the impacted
employees justifies granting the TRO even though the Court
has not yet heard from Providence in opposition. Accordingly,
SEIU's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [Dkt. 2] is
Providence St. Peter Hospital, its officers, employees,
agents, representatives, attorneys, and others acting in
concert or participation with Defendant are
ENJOINED from reorganizing, laying-off, or
changing the working conditions of HUC employees at St. Peter
Hospital (including as described in the November 16, 2017
memo from Wendy Gauksheim to Geoff Bate) pending a hearing on
and resolution of the motion for preliminary injunction.
Court may issue a TRO “only if the movant gives
security in an amount that the court considers proper to the
pay the costs and damages sustained by any party found to
have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(c). SEIU avers that a bond of no more than
one dollar is appropriate when considering that Plaintiffs
are amenable to expedited arbitration under the CBA. Because
the Court intends to resolve the issue of the preliminary
injunction prior to effective date of ...