Cases & Deals

Centerlight Health System obtains successful arbitration result against New York State Nurses Association

Clients CenterLight Health System

In this matter, registered nurses brought a class grievance against Jones Day client CenterLight Health System on the grounds that a change in their responsibilities resulted in them being required to perform non-nursing duties in violation of the collective bargaining agreement. Specifically, the issue before the arbitrator was whether registered nurses could be required to perform blood sample separation procedures, which required pipetting plasma from centrifuged blood into a separate sample tube. CenterLight began requiring the nurses to perform this duty in order to ensure the accuracy of certain blood tests and because it was required by the outside laboratory that processes the blood samples. The nurses contended that there were safety issues involved in conducting the new procedures and that the time that nurses spent performing the procedure might prevent a nurse from responding promptly to a patient emergency. On August 7, 2013, the arbitrator ruled in CenterLight's favor, finding that CenterLight may continue to require the nurses to follow the new procedures for collecting, centrifuging and pipetting blood samples.