Updated: October 15, 2019 07:30 PM
Created: October 15, 2019 11:46 AM
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A nurses' union is accusing Albany Medical Center of effectively forcing Filipino nurses to continue working there under the threat of severe financial penalties.
The New York State Nurses Association claims in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday that nurses recruited from the Philippines are required to pay the hospital up to $20,000 in ``placement fees'' if they resign or are fired within their first three years of employment. Placement fees reportedly consist of the cost of bringing nurses to the U.S.
The union alleges this arrangement amounts to forced labor and violates a federal human trafficking law.
Albany Med officials told the Times-Union of Albany the allegations are a ``blatant mischaracterization of the program.''
The union says Albany Med has brought 582 workers from the Philippines since 2002.
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