Second Circuit Agrees with New York State Nurses Association that Employer Unlawfully Fired Nurse for Engaging in Union Activity

On December 18, 2023, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit enforced an order of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) holding that New York Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital violated federal labor law by firing a New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)-represented nurse for engaging in concerted activity with a group of NYSNA representatives and coworkers. 

The Hospital had petitioned the Court for review of a December 2022 NLRB decision, New York Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital and New York State Nurses Association, 372 NLRB No. 15 (Dec. 5, 2022), finding that the Hospital had violated the National Labor Relations Act when it fired the nurse.  The NLRB had cross-petitioned for enforcement of the decision, and NYSNA had intervened in support of enforcement. 

In its summary order, the Court rejected the Hospital’s arguments that the NLRB’s findings were not supported by substantial evidence and that the Hospital did not receive a fair hearing where the administrative law judge conducted the underlying proceeding, which occurred at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, via a remote platform. 

The Court’s decision is available here.

Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP attorney Kate M. Swearengen represented NYSNA at oral argument before the Court. 

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