The New York State Nurse's Association has filed a lawsuit against Albany Medical Center—the hospital recruitment program allegedly violates human trafficking laws, according to a report from Spectrum News.

Since 2002, the program has recruited over 600 nurses from the Philippines, said News10. The program covers transportation and pays educational costs. According to News10, a penalty of leaving their nursing positions in the hospital before the three-year contract expires includes the nurses being forced to pay the hospital back up to $20,000. Also, the lawsuit states the hospital has threatened deportations, reporting employees who break their contracts to immigration officials.

Dr. Dennis McKenna, Albany Med CEO Designate, denies that claim. McKenna informed reporters the hospital carefully teamed up with immigration lawyers to create a legal professional program. Responding to the allegations of the penalty fee, McKenna said the penalties fairly help recoup immigration, legal, transportation, and other expenses. Albany Medical Center said they have never legally pursued any of the nurses for money or payments from a recruited nurse for leaving the hospital under contract, according to News10.  Albany Med stands by its practices.

Do you think this is a fair exchange? If the nurses were aware of the penalties before entering the program I believe this was a risky opportunity. With that being said, if there was an emergency reason of having to leave the hospital I believe Albany Med's program should take that into consideration.