New York health system inks settlement over 'repayment fees' in nurse contracts

Albany (N.Y.) Med Health System has agreed to pay $24,255 to eight nurses to resolve allegations it illegally forced the nurses to pay fees if they resigned or were fired within three years of employment, according to a Sept. 13 news release from New York State Attorney General Letitia James. 

The settlement was entered into after the health system agreed in 2021 to pay $90,229 to seven nurses over the "repayment fee" provision in employment contracts. Ms. James said eight additional former employees who paid the fees came forward after the settlement agreement was announced. 

The employment contracts provided to the nurses allegedly included a mandatory repayment provision, which required them to pay up to $20,000 if they resigned or were fired within three years of employment. If the nurses, many of whom were recruited from the Philippines, didn't pay the fee, the provision allegedly threatened legal action and reporting to immigration authorities. 

Albany Med didn't respond to Becker's request for comment by deadline. Regarding the settlement entered into last year, the health system said it disagreed with the attorney general's characterization of the facts and did not admit any wrongdoing.

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