The National Labor Relations Board has charged Olean General Hospital with three unfair labor practices.
The charges are based on a report by the New York State Nurses Association relating to the wrongful termination of a registered nurse.
The hospital is accused of illegally denying a nurse's right to be represented by the state nurses association in a disciplinary investigation that resulted in her being fired.
The hospital accused the nurse of vandalism after she wrote on a chair that it was unsafe and should not be used. The nurse claimed the hospital failed to fix the chair for several months before the note was left. Workers said the chair, which had a hydraulic mechanism, had been broken for months and when sat on could drop suddenly as much as 12 inches.
An administrative law judge at the National Labor Relations Board will hear the case and rule on it. The state unemployment office has upheld the nurse's insurance claim, ruling she acted to secure the safety of others.
About 200 nurses at the hospital are represented by the association.