At my June 19, 2013 post "Affinity RNs Call for Halt to Flawed Electronic Medical Records System Scheduled to Go Live Friday" ( I noted what appeared to be an imperial hospital leadership recklessly and negligently ignoring their own nurses' concerns about safety of a new EHR system implementation.

Now there's this at

"Judge orders Affinity to bargain with union" (
A judge ruled Affinity Medical Center violated federal labor laws and ordered the hospital to bargain with the registered nurses’ union and reinstate a nurse fired for union activity.

Affinity says it will appeal the decision.

National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan issued a 36-page ruling Monday based on a hearings held April 29 through May 5 in Cleveland.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee-Ohio, an affiliate of National Nurses United, filed several labor complaints against Affinity and its parent company, Community Health Systems. The complaints cited the hospital’s refusal to bargain with the union, which was certified last year.

... The judge ordered the hospital to reinstate Ann Wayt, an orthopedic nurse for 23 years, with back pay and restitution of benefit or pension losses, and withdraw efforts to have Wayt’s nursing license pulled by the Ohio State Board of Nursing. Wayt was fired in September and never had been disciplined before that month.

“I was confident that the truth would come out,” Wayt said in a statement. “The judge has spoken for me. I want to thank the community, the nurses at Affinity, and the nurses across the country for their support.”

The judge also ordered the hospital to stop firing, disciplining or otherwise discriminating against other registered nurses.

Mentioned in the article is this:

The judge also ruled that the hospital must end threats and other acts of retaliation against nurses who submit objection forms to the employer documenting assignments they believe are unsafe. The hospital also must stop denying access to the hospital of union representatives ... Two weeks ago, nurses filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB after requesting that the hospital delay a launch of the new electronic health record system, citing inadequate training and short staffing.

The nurses began to file objection forms related to the EHR.

What really caught my eye was this:

... In his ruling, the judge found one Affinity manager violated labor laws by threatening to plaster the objection forms on the forehead of any employee who submitted one. That same manager also began scrutinizing patient charts more closely, stated how much she would enjoy disciplining a prominent union supporter and retaliated against employees by reducing the number of nurses in the intensive-care unit [to make others work harder, patient safety be damned, apparently - ed.], according to the ruling.

I dislike stating the obvious, but this manager, a clear bully, is a danger to patient safety and clinician esprit de corps, and needs - at best - sensitivity training, ethics education and perhaps a psychiatric exam.

-- SS

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