Kern Co. workers not among hundreds laid off by Kaiser Permanente

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation's largest HMOs, has laid off 530 employees in Southern California.

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports the cutbacks are spread across the company's 60,000 staff members in offices and hospitals from Kern County south to San Diego County. Doctors are not affected.

A Bakersfield Kaiser spokeswoman said Kern County workers are not affected.

"While Kaiser Permanente Kern County is part of the Southern California region, Kern County employees are not included in the current position eliminations," said Eva Ramirez in a written statement Monday night. 

"We feel it is important for our local membership to understand this matter does not include their local Kaiser Permanente medical facilities."

Under certain contracts, the laid-off employees who are in unions will get income and benefits for a year. Many may also get their jobs back next year, when Kaiser expects membership levels to grow, after the federal Affordable Care Act is implemented.

At least 85 positions were eliminated at the Fontana and Ontario medical centers, according to the newspaper. Exact locations of the rest of the layoffs were not available.

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Information from: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin with additional information from BakersfieldNow.com staff