Two companies that operate senior-care facilities have filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against local SEIU chapters accusing them of engaged in a long-term pattern of “criminal sabotage, intimidation and other acts of extortion” in connection with an ongoing labor-contract dispute.
The so-called RICO suit — usually filed against organized crime operations — was filed Wednesday by HealthBridge Management LLC and CareOne Management LLC. The suit states the two SEIU chapters’ alleged activities are a “coordinated illegal campaign” to put the companies out of business if they fail to yield to the union’s demands.
The RICO, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, statute allows for extended criminal penalties for acts related to ongoing criminal enterprise.
It was enacted as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 to eliminate the “infiltration of organized crime and racketeering into legitimate organizations operating in interstate commerce.”
However, the statute is broad enough to include illegal activities relating to enterprises impacting interstate or foreign commerce.