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'Great California Workplace Award' Goes to Company Facing Lawsuits, Possible Federal Complaint

Employer Resource Institute Gives Atria Senior Living Honorable Mention While Atria Defends Against Charges

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --On Nov. 17, the Employer Resource Institute (ERI - ) announced the winners of its "2008 Great California Workplaces Award," giving Honorable Mention to Atria Senior Living, one of the country's largest assisted living providers.

Unfortunately, the truth is that Atria is currently defending itself in Federal court against allegations that one of its Orange County, Calif. facilities fired a food server because she injured her shoulder at work. For its actions at another Orange County facility, Atria is also facing two lawsuits brought by ex-employees, claiming that the company fired one employee and forced another to resign for speaking up about a manager who sexually harassed and assaulted one of his employees.

This award comes just days before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is expected to issue a complaint against the company for harassing and then firing a New York employee, Jojo Adeyemi, because of his support for forming a union.

"I'm shocked anyone would give Atria an award for being a good employer," said Adeyemi. "Atria tried to silence me and other Atria employees instead of working with us for improvements. These facilities need better staffing, and we all need better training so the residents get good care."

Adeyemi made approximately $10 an hour when he was fired, giving him less than $300 a week in take-home pay from his job at Atria Westside in Manhattan, New York.

Atria is one of the largest assisted living providers in California with 24 facilities statewide and nearly 130 nationally. In California, Atria has come under increased scrutiny gouging frail elderly residents with huge rent hikes, and for serious resident care problems in its facilities.

Atria is owned by a private equity buyout fund affiliated with Lazard, Ltd., a powerhouse Wall Street bank. Investors in this fund include a number of the largest public employee pension funds in the U.S. and the world, including Canada's Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDP) and the Dutch pension fund, PGGM, based in Amsterdam.


SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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