Doctors, Nurses & Health Care Workers Disciplined or Terminated During COVID-19Health care providers have reported unsafe workplaces, reduced pay, discipline and retaliation by hospitals and medical staffing firms.
Health care providers face challenges in the best of circumstances. Today, the nationwide medical community of physicians, nurses, technicians and support staff are facing a dangerous pandemic unseen before in our lifetimes. Medical providers and staff are attempting to deliver the highest-level care to every patient while overworked in a stressful, demanding and potentially life-threatening, work environment.
As this coronavirus pandemic continues, medical providers now face something more unimaginable during a worldwide health crisis. Hospital management and staffing firms are terminating providers and engaging in unnecessary and unjustified discipline, pay cuts and benefit reductions.
Although hospital management and staffing firms claim that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial distress, employers still have obligations to all employees. Every physician, nurse and staff member has enforceable employment rights under Federal law, as well as state or local law in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Workplace Safety & Hostile Hospital Management
Hospital management’s response to workplace safety has been shocking. During this COVID-19 pandemic, medical providers are raising concerns everyday about the lack of personal protective equipment in patient treatment and limitations on its use. Incredibly, hospital administrators are disciplining health care providers in response to their justified complaints. Even when protective equipment is available, some hospitals ban providers from wearing it in public areas of hospital facilities.
In many instances, hospitals have taken aggressive and retaliatory actions against medical providers in the following manner:
- Disciplining medical providers and nurses for raising concerns about the use of personal protective equipment outside of treatment rooms.
- Terminating physicians for complaints about placing COVID-19 patients with patients who have not been diagnosed with the illness.
- Eliminating patient schedules, effectively cutting the pay for medical specialists for wearing face masks outside of treatment and patient rooms.
- Terminating medical staff for complaints related to testing procedures.
- Initiating adverse actions against health care providers who fail to follow unsafe and dangerous policies for rationing personal protective equipment that place all providers, hospital staff and patients at risk.
OSHA Violation Reporting
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes guidance related to workplace safety. Hospitals are required to protect health care providers from serious illness, including providing personal protective equipment and maintaining a safe, clean and decontaminated workplace.
Hospital limitations on the use of personal protective equipment may violate OSHA guidance. Health care providers may have whistleblower claims against hospitals should they be disciplined for escalating workplace concerns. Employees have 30 days to file a complaint with OSHA if they have been retaliated for bringing a complaint to an employer.
Potomac Legal Group PLLC represents professional employees with whistleblower claims as part of its Employment Law Practice. If you’ve experienced a dangerous workplace, or any type of discipline, pay reduction or retaliation, then contact Potomac Legal Group PLLC immediately to schedule a consultation.
Potomac Legal Group PLLC is available to review any workplace safety claim or OSHA violation that you have experience or witnessed.
Employment Agreements & Wage Disputes
Hospitals pay physicians in a number of ways. Many physicians are given annual salaries and some are given compensation based on billable fees and the number of patients seen.
wRVUs: Discrepancies in Work Performed & Pay Earned
A common compensation scheme for providers are work relative value units (wRVUs) that measure physician productivity during a certain period of time. The wRVU value is the prevailing RVU value schedule published yearly by the AMA. A physician’s employment agreement will dictate how often work will be measured. Hospitals are required to regularly provide wRVU calculations to physicians consistent with the physician’s employment agreement.
Hospital records regarding wRVUs are not always correct. Discrepancies may exist between the hospital and doctor as to how the wRVU is calculated. Doctors must immediately address these discrepancies to ensure that payments are accurately captured by hospital administrators.
During this fast-moving period of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals may make decisions by design, or even arbitrarily, regarding compensation, in an effort to maintain normal revenue for the organization. However, these are not normal times, and medical providers are working an exhausting number or hours in stressful and dangerous conditions to help patients and stem a global pandemic. This is not the time to cut pay for doctors and nurses. You are entitled to receive the 100% of the compensation that you negotiated with your employer.
Medical Provider Employment Agreements
The lawyers at Potomac Legal Group PLLC have an in-depth understanding of physician and medical provider pay. We have negotiated numerous employment contracts for physicians, and we’ve assisted providers who have faced discrepancies in compensation matters, and specially in wRVU calculations.
If you are facing a dispute with your hospital employer, then contact us immediately. We will advise you of your rights and assist in determining your claims and bringing claims against your employer.
Health Care Provider Practice Area
Potomac Legal Group PLLC’s Health Care Provider Practice Area is experienced in representing doctors, nurses and medical providers in workplace disputes and contract negotiations with hospital employers and medical staffing firms in the Washington, DC region.