ITHACA, N.Y. — The National Labor Relations Board has upheld a previous decision that found Cayuga Medical Center violated federal labor law.
The decision relates to a case that concluded in October 2016 with a decision by Administrative Law Judge David Goldman. After a hearing in May 2016, Goldman found the hospital had illegally retaliated against employees who were unionizing and imposed an overly broad code of conduct.
When the decision came out, Cayuga Medical Center disagreed with the ruling and denied the allegations. Recently, three members of the National Labor Relations Board reviewed Goldman’s ruling and released a decision Dec. 16 affirming Goldman’s findings. CMC continues to reject the decision.
Cayuga Medical Center has been ordered to cease and desist a number of actions, including applying certain rules in its Nursing Code of Conduct, directing employees to stop distributing union literature and disciplining employees for engaging in protected activities. (Read the full decision below)
The case involved several nurses who were trying to unionize in Spring 2015 with 1199 SEIU (Service Employees International Union).
In his Oct. 28 decision, Goldman found that former Cayuga Medical Center nurse Anne Marshall was targeted for her union activity. The decision found that Marshall had received an unlawful suspension, disciplinary warning and adverse performance evaluation. The decision stated that though Cayuga Medical Center allowed a significant amount of union activity, it took issue with the activism of a few nurses. At the time, Marshall was a vocal activist for forming a union. She no longer works at the hospital.
In a Facebook post, which Marshall agreed to share, Marshall said the decision was good news but lamented that the hospital spent thousands of dollars to fight and appeal the case.
“Cayuga Medical Center spent this huge sum of money fighting its nurses who were trying to make this hospital safe for this community! All this money could have been spent to train and hire many nurses to serve this community. Adequate staffing was the nurses main reason for wanting a union!” Marshall wrote.
John Turner, vice president of public relations at Cayuga Medical Center, said Tuesday that CMC does not agree with the ruling and will appeal.
“We truly believe we respected our employees rights to explore third party representation. Feel as though we did nothing to impede that process,” Turner said.
A judgment is also expected soon in another case regarding nurses and Cayuga Medical Center. In April 2017, a hearing took place to examine if two nurses were fired (including Marshall) because they were union supporters or if the hospital was justified in terminating the nurses for violating blood transfusion policy and falsifying documents.
The Oct. 28, 2016 case was reviewed by National Labor Relations Board Chairman Philip Miscimarra, and board members Mark Gaston Pearce and Lauren McFerran.
Read the full NLRB decision below: