Hospital changes attendance policy

  1. 1 The hospital where I work has recently changed our attendance policy. In that policy they re-enforced that you can only miss 6 days of work per year, and after you miss so many days you will be warned, then counseled then terminated. Just weeks prior to our new attendance policy, they tell you if you have a fever of 100.F or above coupled with either a sore throat or cough, you will have to stay home for seven days. I think they picked a bad time to tighten the attendance policy, as we are all concerned of the H1N1 spreading. I understand that people call in alot, however, are we now going to have staff coming to work sick because they don’t have enough PTO to stay home. We are a seasonal hospital, with census high in winter and low during summer months. I just wanted to get some opinions.
    Last edit by mcpkin on Nov 5, '09
  2. Visit  mcpkin profile page

    About mcpkin

    Joined Apr '08; Posts: 26; Likes: 12.

    19 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  OldnurseRN profile page
    1
    Our hospital is quite similar, both in policy and census. They assign a point for each infraction including the mandatory attendence of nurses meetings.
    lindarn likes this.
  4. Visit  BrnEyedGirl profile page
    1
    Our policy is similar,....but it isn't 6 days,..it 6 absences,.if I call in 3 shifts in a row it is one absence,....we also have the "don't come to work with flu sx" rule.
    lindarn likes this.
  5. Visit  RNBSN09 profile page
    1
    My work has that same policy! If you call in 3 times in 3 months its considered excessive. And to top it all off, the flu. If you have the flu you cannot come to work for 7 days, yet you get in trouble and it counts as 1 call in. Its stupid bc we have gone to this bc of other people who abuse calling in. What about the people that have children?? I understand why we have this policy but your going to go to work sick just so you wont get in trouble. Also if you work 10 hrs of your 12 hr shift and have n/v/d and you get sent home, that counts against you too. Its CRAZY!!
    lindarn likes this.
  6. Visit  mcpkin profile page
    1
    I just found this on the CDC website


    Establish facility access control measures and triage procedures

    • Establish non-punitive policies that encourage or require ill health care personnel workers to stay home. This should include contractors as well as staff.
    So I guess I was right in saying bad timing on their part. Now I know they need to have something in place, so staff would not abuse calling out. However I don't think anyone would be crying wolf, knowing they will have to miss 7 days of work. Still they should know if they truly have symptoms, they can stay home without, it going against you.
    lindarn likes this.
  7. Visit  lorelei1973 profile page
    5
    If you are out 3 days, your employer is obligated to inform you of your rights under the Family Medical Leave Act, as well as any similar state provisions. They may (will, most likely) require that your doctor fill out paperwork certifying that your illness is qualifying, and H1N1 IS a SERIOUS illness, so it does qualify. If you have FMLA in place, you cannot be fired under law, although you may find yourself in a LWOP status if you don't accrue vacation or comp time benefits. But at least you have legal protection.

    So my advice to anyone who is either afflicted with H1N1 or any other condition requiring that they or a family member be at home for 3 or more days is to be proactive and tell your employer that you are seeking FMLA protection. Similarly, if you or an immediate family member has a chronic or ongoing but unpredictable illness (migraine, for example) ask your HR department for FMLA paperwork. Have your doctor certify it, and specify that you qualify for intermittent FML. It's the best way to cover yourself, sometimes the only way, if you or a family member has a serious illness and you are forced to take more than your allotted sick leave.
  8. Visit  OldnurseRN profile page
    1
    I'm wondering if a number of you didn't get the flu vaccines? We were mandated to get the seasonal vaccine and the H1N1 was voluntary. The catch is if you didn't get the H1N1 you have to wear a mask at all times (except when eating) and the policy states reprimands will given if found without that mask at any time other than meals.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. Visit  Zookeeper3 profile page
    3
    Quote from oldnursern
    i'm wondering if a number of you didn't get the flu vaccines? we were mandated to get the seasonal vaccine and the h1n1 was voluntary. the catch is if you didn't get the h1n1 you have to wear a mask at all times (except when eating) and the policy states reprimands will given if found without that mask at any time other than meals.
    the problem is that the vaccine does not prevent 100% of flu, just decreases the severity. so in my hospital, you of course still can't come to work with a temp and suspicious symptoms, even though you've had the vaccine. so vaccination status is irrelevant to the attendence policy for me (except the increased health protection).

    my facility only allows three absences before a written warning, i've been suspended on my fourth absence in a rolling 12 months time. we are only told not to come to work sick, but there is no leway in the policy, nor does it matter what your vaccination status is. so sick people are coming in infecting others because they will face suspension. it is a mess!


    my belief is that that cdc and gasp, the gov't, need to provide protection to employees that call in to protect everyone else from illness. wether it's cleared by occupational health nurses of whatever the system, we can't have sick employees being suspended for calling in with flu symptoms n this crisis. i know... crazy thoughts:imbar what am i thinking?
  10. Visit  mcpkin profile page
    1
    They told us you either get the seasonal flu shot or wear the mask. From what I am seeing, seems like most have taken the seasonal flu shot. I have seen a few wear mask, one even went on her first night to the supervisors office to get a flu shot because she stated the mask was giving her a rash. The thing that gets me is we were told that we would wear sticker, that stated we were immunized for you protection, thus for those who were given the shot. Then for those that chose they did not want it, the sticker would say, we wear a mask for your protection. In the end they did neither, they put a little silver sticker on our badge, and then put signs up in the halls that goes something like this..... We here at ____ hospital care about your protection, and you see a picture of a yellow surgical mask. it goes on to say that because of Religious beliefs or serious medical issues, everyone can not get the shot.. Why its up there, who knows. But at least where I work, most who did not take or did not want the shot, basically just did not want to be told they had to do this or else.
    As for my self, I have always taken the flu shot for about ten years or so, I just think it is funny that they would turn something that they are making "us" do into kudos for them. How come they did not just write, some don't want to take the shot, so you will see them wearing mask, if they had to write anything at all. To me would make pts concerned about what is going on with their nurse.
    lindarn likes this.
  11. Visit  Vito Andolini profile page
    1
    Quote from oldnursern
    our hospital is quite similar, both in policy and census. they assign a point for each infraction including the mandatory attendence attendance of nurses meetings.
    attendance
    lindarn likes this.
  12. Visit  Vito Andolini profile page
    2
    I think the country has gone crazy over this flu business, I think the flu has intentionally been released into circulation by those who have an interest in testing the Constitution and who want to intentionally decrease the population, I think it is a very scary time in American history.

    I think employers who want to fire those who are sick more than a certain chosen number of days should try living by those rules themselves. Since they are salaried, since they are bosses, who monitors their own attendance? Humm? Same with tardiness. Salaried bosses often, often, often leave early, come late. I know they also work early and late, work on weekends, etc. But they themselves probably could not live on the strict tardiness rules they require of the rest of us. I know the rules are invoked against those they want to get rid of, not those who violate but are popular - at least today.
    lorelei1973 and morte like this.
  13. Visit  rngolfer53 profile page
    2
    Quote from mcpkin
    The hospital where I work has recently changed our attendance policy. In that policy they re-enforced that you can only miss 6 days of work per year, and after you miss so many days you will be warned, then counseled then terminated. Just weeks prior to our new attendance policy, they tell you if you have a fever of 100.F or above coupled with either a sore throat or cough, you will have to stay home for seven days. I think they picked a bad time to tighten the attendance policy, as we are all concerned of the H1N1 spreading. I understand that people call in alot, however, are we now going to have staff coming to work sick because they don't have enough PTO to stay home. We are a seasonal hospital, with census high in winter and low during summer months. I just wanted to get some opinions.
    I recently saw an informal--read non-scientific--poll on a newspaper web site asking about what you would do if you just didn't want to go to work on any particular day.

    Just short of 50% said they would call out sick.

    As I said this poll was neither scientific nor restricted to nurses. It does indicate a lot of people willing to lie about being sick to get a day off.

    So, it's no real wonder that employers are cracking down on absences.
  14. Visit  OC_An Khe profile page
    0
    As the saying goes "penny wise and dollar foolish". Essentially they are saying they would rather save sure pennies over a long period of time and take the risk of losing an unknown amount of dollars if any.
    Said another way they are not concerned about legitimate illnesses but trying to prevent the mental health days that the bean counters feel we always take.


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