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HR Insights for Health Care

Physician’s Harassment Claim Fails – Only a Personality Conflict

[05/17/12]

Posted on May 17, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

Complaints of harassment don’t always result in liability for an employer.  Here’s a case in point. A Syrian born Muslim physician employed at Stroger Hospital in Cook County wrote letters and lodged formal complaints over the years about his treatment by a female coworker who was also a physician in the same department.  The... READ MORE

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NLRB’s “Quickie Election Rule” Set Aside by Federal Court

[05/14/12]

Posted on May 14, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

Good news for private employers.  Today, May 14, 2012 the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the NLRB lacked a quorum when it took a final vote to issue it’s hotly debated “Quickie Election Rule”.  Consequently, the Rule that would have had the effect of drastically speeding up union... READ MORE

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When is a Physician a Hospital’s Employee? – Ask the Jury

[05/11/12]

Posted on May 11, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

Normally a physician who is not actually “employed” by a hospital is not an employee who would be protected by anti-discrimination laws. But it’s not always that simple. In fact, it can be quite complicated and risky for a hospital if the relationship is not clearly established. If the relationship is not clear then... READ MORE

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Heads Up – Mandatory Transfer to Vacant Position as ADA Accommodation – Maybe…

[05/10/12]

Posted on May 10, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Craig M. Williams

Under the ADA an employer is obligated to find a “reasonable accommodation,” if possible, for a qualified individual with a disability, which would allow that individual to perform the essential functions of his or her job or to otherwise remain employed by the employer.  Such an accommodation can take various forms, including reassignment of... READ MORE

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Union “Talk” and Union “Solicitation” – Not the Same

[05/04/12]

Posted on May 4, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

Sometimes having a good No-Solicitation and No-Distribution Policy is not good enough when supervisors warn about activities that aren’t covered by otherwise lawful policies.  In this case a hospital that was having problems with its incumbent union had previously established a pretty good policy.  That policy provided: “Solicitation/ Distribution.  Employees are forbidden from soliciting... READ MORE

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Ribbons, Hospitals, Patients and the NLRB

[05/03/12]

Posted on May 3, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

According to long standing NLRB doctrine, in healthcare facilities, restrictions on wearing non-official buttons and insignia in immediate patient care areas are valid. But if there is selective enforcement of the restrictions singles out union related buttons and insignia then there is a problem unless the hospital can show that the restriction was “necessary... READ MORE

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Deductions from Employee Paychecks: Doing them Right and Making them Legal

[05/03/12]

Posted on May 3, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

A Common Scenario Sometimes, as a matter of convenience, an employee may request that a portion of his or her paycheck be deducted and applied toward a debt or other obligation.  For example, the employee might ask that insurance premiums be deducted  – or charitable contributions – or the cost of purchases from the... READ MORE

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Mandatory Flu Vaccine Programs – The EEOC Weighs In

[05/02/12]

Posted on May 2, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Kevin A. Stella

In a recent informal discussion letter, the EEOC responded to an employer’s inquiry about the application of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to health care workers’ requests for exemption from an employer-mandated flu vaccination program. In a lengthy response EEOC’s Legal Counsel, Peggy Mastroianni, references several prior EEOC publications addressing relevant legal... READ MORE

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Arrest and Conviction Records – EEOC Takes a Stand

[04/30/12]

Posted on April 30, 2012 in HR Insights for Health Care

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

The EEOC on April 25, 2012 issued its Enforcement Guidance, updating its previous position on an employer’s use of arrest and conviction records in making employment decisions.  The Enforcement Guidance was issued without prior public comment and does not have the force of law, but it does indicate where the EEOC will likely head when... READ MORE