UFCW Local 1445 And Attorney Al Gordon O'Connell Win Pivotal Case About Rescinded Transfer At UMass Memorial Medical Center

May 22, 2023

On May 16, 2023, an arbitrator awarded a solid victory to UFCW, Local 1445 in a case regarding an employee whose transfer to a career-advancing position was unfairly and inappropriately scuttled by her supervisor. The case was argued for the Union by Pyle Rome attorney Al Gordon O'Connell.

The case involved an administrative employee at UMass Memorial who had several years of clinical experience at another hospital before coming to UMMMC. She was looking to get into a more hands-on healthcare position and thus applied to become an anesthesia technician. The head nurse in charge of the anesthesia program told her that she would be a great fit and would learn everything she needed to know on the job, and so once the wage rate was agreed to, the employee was offered and accepted the position through the Hospital's "Talent Acquisition" team.

When the employee's supervisor found out she would be moving to the anesthesia tech position, she contacted both Talent Acquisition and the Chair of the Department to try to scuttle the transfer. The Hospital first suggested that the employee was barred from transfer due to discipline, but that wasn't true. Then the Hospital said that the employee wasn't actually offered the job by Talent Acquisition, but that wasn't true either. Finally, the Hospital suggested that the employee didn't have the required experience for the position, but that argument fell apart when the evidence showed that they had previously hired a Dunkin' Donuts manager who had absolutely no clinical experience.

The arbitrator ultimately determined that the Hospital did not have the power to undo the transfer that had already been accepted and ordered the Hospital to transfer the employee to the position and make her whole for any monetary losses she suffered.