One of five hospital networks named in a class-action lawsuit in upstate New York has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle claims from several thousand registered nurses who alleged that the hospitals illegally shared salary information and depressed their wages.
Northeast Health has agreed to settle the case while denying any wrongdoing, although the settlement has not yet been presented to the U.S. District Court in Syracuse for preliminary approval. The network includes two acute-care hospitals165-bed Albany (N.Y.) Memorial Hospital, and 238-bed Samaritan Hospital, Troy, N.Y.and two rehabilitation hospitals.
It was not clear whether the settlement would affect the other four provider networks named in the 2006 class-action lawsuit. David Marx, attorney for 600-bed Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center, said the settlement with Northeast would not affect his client, although he noted that the settlement from Northeast applies to the entire class of affected workers.
Although workers in the lawsuit are represented by the Service Employees International Union, the SEIU is not named as a plaintiff in the case. Union spokesman Carter Wright confirmed that the union was paying at least part of the plaintiffs legal expenses. Similar class-action lawsuits are pending in Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Tenn., and San Antonio, Wright said.