HCAD 650 UMDC Employment and Labor Discussion

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Please, read and respond to peer discussions. 

Peer 1: Termination

In the Law of Health Care Administration, 9th Ed. read,

Ch.. 8 Medical Staff Privileges and Peer Review

The Tracks We Leave Ethics and Management Dilemmas in Healthcare, 3rd Ed.:   Ch. 7 Workforce Reduction:  Hillside County Medical Center

Part 1:  Critical Analysis of the Law

Evaluate and discuss the requirements of one of the following laws and how it applies in terminating employees.   What does a manager need to do or not do to comply with it?

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Older Worker Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)

  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 (ADEA) provides protection to applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from being discriminated against because of their age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment (U.S Department of Labor, n.d.). The law is enforced by the equal Employment Opportunity Commission (US Department of Labor, n.d.). The Older Worker Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) is a federal law that requires employers to offer equal or same benefits to older workers (40 and up) as they would to younger employees; under this act workers 40 and up are entitle to employee benefits such as severance pay, and they cannot be pressured into signing legal waivers (Cornell Law School, 2020). These laws were created to provide older workers with assurance that they will not lose their job or be discriminated against in the workplace due to their age. In termination, to comply with the laws it is important to ensure that the termination is not linked to their age and focuses more on their ability to do their job, and issues such as coming to work late repeatedly, making numerous errors, and accruing many customer complaints. Essentially, the best way to comply with the law is to ensure the older worker has accommodations so they are able to do their job and if work really starts to decline a write up should be issued to notify them that a correction is needed. If after the write up the worker continues to fail at the job, the termination will be justifiable.

Evaluate one of the following tools for compliance in hiring and indicate how it would help limit risk.  Discuss the pros and cons of it. 

  • Employee termination policies and procedures
  • Employee termination policies and procedures are good tools for compliance in hiring because they are made to comply with compliance and employee laws, show transparency, manage economic layoffs, and take performance and disciplinary action (Taylor, n.d.). The best way to use termination policy and procedures is to identify and document an issue that occurs with an employee, coach the employee to rectify the issue, create a performance improvement plan with goals to reach by certain dates, advise the employee that if the performance plan goals are not reached by the set date the next action would be termination, lastly terminate the employee if the issue is not corrected (Wright, n.d.). The pros to using termination policies and procedures are that the employees can see what the company’s policy is and what will happen if violated. This is beneficial because it can stop improper work behavior form happening at all to avoid coaching plans and termination. The cons of this tool would be that it is general and would need to be adjusted for certain situations, not all issues need the steps listed out, some do need to result in immediate termination but having these steps in place leaves room for possible legal action against the company for unjust termination.  

Part 2:  Strategic Compliance with the Law

Evaluate the scenario in Ch. 7 Workforce Reduction:  Hillside County Medical Center. 

What are the legal risks? What are risks specific to employee termination in a reduction in force (RIF)? How will the union contract impact a RIF? How will the WARN law impact a RIF of over 100 employees?

The legal risks in this scenario would be wrongful termination and the many unions that make up the workforce at the hospital will support the workers with pursuing legal action. A reduction in force is a mass layoff that is connected to an organizations decision to cut costs or reorganize and are usually used as an unlaw way to discriminate against workers (Crabill, 2019). The biggest risk in this would be that the company stated it would need keep newer employees as terminating them would disrupt daily operations and terminating the older employees will not. The union for nurses has already stated that workforce reduction would need to keep as may senior nurses as possible so firing them will create issues with the union (Perry, 2020). The worker adjustment and retraining act (WARN) is a federal law that requires employers with over 100 employees to provide 60 days’ notice to workers pending mass layoffs (XpertHr, n.d.). The law also requires careful consideration when doing layoffs to ensure decision is based on performance. The company would need to come together and thoroughly choose who to terminate to avoid legal issues while still being able to successfully operate the hospital.

What management compliance tools (one) and processes (one) could be incorporated in the organization to prevent the need for a RIF?

  1. A termination policies and procedures list would be vital in this scenario. This would be helpful as if would list the steps that will be taken if improper behavior is displayed at work that will lead to termination if not corrected. This would assist with tracking which employees have more performance issues than others and those with poor performance can be put on performance plans and receive coaching with a goal of improvement in 60 days or termination.

Assume there is a RIF that involves employees with a union contract with seniority provisions.   What employee termination tools (one) and processes (one) would you incorporate to minimize the likelihood of a wrongful termination lawsuit?

The best tool to use would be to make termination decision and provide that to the terminated employee in writing with 60 days advanced notice (Mayhew, n.d.). The termination decision will detail exactly why the employee was terminated and when the termination will go into effect. Because a mass termination is needed the normal procedures of a warning, coaching, and a performance plan will not be needed. The company choose to do a mass firing because of finances and operation issues so it can justify not going through regular procedures and polices for termination as long as notice is given 60 days head of termination.

References

U.S Department of Labor. (n.d.). Age Discrimination. https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/discrimination/agedisc

Cornell law School. (2020, July). Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/older_workers_benefit_protection_act_(owbpa)

Wright, T. (n.d.). How to Terminate an Employee: 5 Steps. ADP. How to Terminate an Employee: 5 Steps (adp.com)

Perry, F. (2020). The tracks we leave: Ethics and management dilemmas in healthcare. (3rd ed.). ACHE Management Series.

  1. Peer 2:Employee Evaluation

Part 1:  Critical Analysis of the Law

Evaluate and discuss the requirements of one of the following laws and how it applies in managing employees.   What does a manager need to do or not do to comply with it?

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave provisions

  • When it comes to managing employees under FMLA communication is the key component of a good FMLA program. All employees must display a general notice about the FMLA program, provide employees with a general notice about FMLA, notify employees concerning their eligibility as well as rights and responsibilities and if time can be approved for FMLA and how much of that time will count against it (U.S. Dept of labor, n.d.)

When it comes to managing employees, it serves to promote work life balance since being signed into legislation in 1993. Adopting flexible practices like FMLA has the potential to boost productivity, improve morale and benefit the economy (U.S. Dept of Labor, n.d.). The fundamental principle behind it is workers should not have to choose between their job and family who need care. They are contributing to the health of their family and well being and not just the success of their job.

Evaluate one of the following tools for compliance in the evaluation and indicate how it would help limit risk. Discuss the pros and cons of it.  

Employee evaluation policies and procedures

The employee handbook or policies will outline the processes and practices of the organization that apply consistently to all employees when a certain situation arises. These can include hiring, leave, and termination practices, employee benefits, and other standards of conduct (UMGC, n.d.) Having a policies and procedures like John Hopkins can help the organization stay compliant in ensuring all policies including FMLA are listed and contain guidelines/ requirements to qualify or the benefit (John hopkins Medicine, n.d.). We can also have employees annually attest to knowing where they can find the documentation to help cover the organization as well. This would mean ensuring HR has all the documentation on file as well to cover employees across the entire company. Any penalties will be avoided as well in case someone decides to take legal action from being non-compliant.

Part 2:  Strategic Compliance with the Law 

Evaluate the scenario in Ch. 8 Nursing Shortage:  Metropolitan Community Hospital. 

  1. What are the legal risks? What are risks specific to staff negligence and liability?

Patient safety is a big risk since there are not an adequate number of caregivers with appropriate skill. Nurses serve as a conduit for communication and interaction with patients and families and this type of behavior can affect the safety and wellbeing of them (Perry, 2020). The shortage could also have negative impact to the organization if the perception to the public is perceived that they are understaffed and don’t have the right means to treat patients. Legally those type of disruption can lead to medical errors, patient dissatisfaction and adverse patient events like falling, surgical complications and medical overdoes. This then lends to the possibility to set the stage for malpractice litigation and claims discrimination if the environment remains toxic and hostile (Perry, 2020).

What would management compliance tools (one) and processes (one) be incorporated in the organization to prevent this problem?

  1. Incorporating a root cause analysis would be beneficial as this analysis would include different tools, approaches and techniques used to uncover causes of problems. This is part of a total quality management analysis and an integral part of continuous improvement. This tool may not produce results, but it is used as part of a larger problem-solving effort. You can use this by conducting an ‘Event and Casual factor analysis’ or a ‘Change analyses to name a few. This study would be conducted by a small team formed to do this by the business areas affected (ASQ, 2022). Once the solution has been designed and the decision is to implement it, the process could take months to see change depending on how many are involved.

Offering competitive pay and benefits should be offered to all nurses those who are still employed with the company to reward them for their loyalty, and new nurses to attract them to the organization.

Reference:

  1. ASQ (2022). What is root cause analysis (RCA). What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA)? | ASQ

Frankie Perry. (2020). The Tracks We Leave: Ethics and Management Dilemmas in Healthcare, Third Edition: Vol. Third edition. ACHE Management Series.

John Hopkins (n.d.). Policies and handbooks. Policies and Handbooks | Human Resources | Johns Hopkins Hospital & Health System (hopkinsmedicine.org)

U.S. Department of Labor (n.d.). Fact sheet #28D employer notification requirements under the family and medical leave act. Fact Sheet #28D: Employer Notification Requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)

U.S. Department of Labor (n.d.). FMLA general guidance. FMLA: General Guidance | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)

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