Nurses' union at U of Cincinnati Medical Center wants federal review of Facebook live post

The nurses' union at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center wants federal involvement after the academic hospital fired a union representative and disciplined another over a Facebook Live video updating members on negotiations, according to

Jennifer Donaldson, a labor and delivery nurse and vice president of the Registered Nurses Association at the medical center, was fired over the video, and RNA President Michelle Thoman, who helped Ms. Donaldson record the video, received a written warning.

Now the nurses' union, an affiliate of the Ohio Nurses Association, wants the federal government to review the actions, alleging the medical center obstructed union business, according to

In claims filed in June with the National Labor Relations Board, union officials said Ms. Donaldson was unlawfully fired for exercising her legal right in communicating with unionized employees, and that the hospital retaliated against Ms. Thoman, did not bargain in good faith and coerced union members or interfered with their rights, the website reported.

Medical center spokeswoman Amanda Nageleisen told "What continues to be overlooked in the rhetoric surrounding this matter is the fact that patient safety was compromised. We cannot tolerate actions that put patients at risk, especially the youngest and most vulnerable individuals entrusted to our care. We make decisions which are in the best interest of our patients."

Hospital officials have said Ms. Donaldson was fired for leaving her duties to make the six-minute Facebook Live video and lying about it. Ms. Thoman was not on the clock at the time. The union argues patient care wasn't jeopardized and that Ms. Donaldson's break was permitted.

The dispute between the hospital and nurses union comes as Ohio lawmakers consider legislation that would ban a hospital from requiring a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse to work overtime as a condition of continued employment.

Read the full report here.


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