Hotel mold whistleblower case

Administrative Hearing for fired worker continues: Day 4 Anchorage

On Tuesday February 19, the National Labor Relations Board began an administrative hearing at the Nesbett Courthouse which is now stretching into day 4. It continues today until 4:45pm, at the Old Federal Building Courthouse.

The hearing has focused on Unite Here Local 878-represented worker Bill Rosario who was fired in October of 2017 after he reported to his union finding mold at the downtown Anchorage Hilton Hotel.

Rosario was fired one day before a new ordinance was passed in Anchorage that provides whistleblower protections to hotel workers who report mold. The Hotel had been dealing with mold issues since 2014 when Mr. Rosario alerted his Union Representatives that there was still mold to be found in two guest rooms in the summer of 2017.

The Union contends that Anchorage Hilton owner Columbia-Sussex fired Mr. Rosario in retaliation for his seeking his Union’s help for himself and his coworkers.

During an inspection in 2014, Alaska-OSHA had found “the presence of mold to various levels of count,” which led to a settlement with the Hotel regarding worker protections in early 2015. After the firing, the Union filed a charge with NLRB Region 19, which found in October of 2018 that sufficient evidence supported the Union’s allegation that Mr. Rosario’s firing was illegal to issue a formal complaint about the Hilton’s actions and move forward with the trial. In order to settle the case and avoid going to a trial, the Anchorage Hilton was required to reinstate Mr. Rosario. The Hilton refused. The NLRB’s General Counsel’s office is working with UNITE HERE Local 878 on the case.

An NLRB administrative judge is presiding.