Bereavement

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    My Dad died a week ago today. I took a week off when he was diagnosed and went "home" with my youngest daughter to see him. I thought he would be OK until my assignment ended in May but.......

    The hospital where I am working have been very good to me. I sprung the week off during my daughters "spring break" and they just said "go and don't worry", even though almost half of the team had asked for time off already. They also didn't say a negative word when at the beginning of the day I got a call from my brother saying I needed to get home. They just covered it. I will forever be in their debt but will do my best to repay as much as I can. I have been there for 4 out of the past 5 years, starting either in November or January and staying until June. I plan on doing that for the next few years or longer now with the debt.

    Have also been with the same Travel company for the past 4 years. They haven't' bothered me regarding the time off but they also didn't offer any type of bereavement pay. I was canceled on Monday, scheduled off for Tuesday, got the call needing to "get home" Wednesday so I couldn't work the last three days of the week. I have a guaranteed 36 hours per week (if I am canceled) and have used a few of those but not all. I will go home early if there is nothing going on and will not "charge" the hospital if I have at least 30 worked hours. If I'm off a whole 12 or 8 hour shift then I feel I need to have the Guarantee.

    My question to the readers who have continued to read, is. Would you expect something on a travel assignment?? I know there is no vacation, sick time, but there had been holiday and I though Bereavement in previous contracts. Has that suddenly gone away or have I just assumed it was there? I won't name the company or hospital on the forum, so don't ask.

    Thank you for any and all comments.

    Rod
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    First of all let me express my sympathy for the loss of your dad.
    I experienced almost the same scenario of losing my dad while away on assignment. The hospital I was at did the same in going over and above to reassure me and cover my schedule.
    My company was supportive in working wth the hospital to assure that my contract would extend to cover the necessary hours for completion after I returned. I did not receive any pay for the time I was off (I think this is what you were asking) but I also was not assessed any penalty for the missed shifts or housing costs for the 2 weeks I was off, which they could have done per the contract if they chose to do so.
    I do not recall ever seeing anything regarding bereavement in a contract, but as we know each company is different. You may want to go through old contracts or the employee manual for your company when you have time to do so.
  5. 0
    I think it would be hard to have bereavement pay listed in a travel contract. As you know the company can usually only bill the hospital for hours worked. That being said you have been with the same company and same hospital for 4 years. I'd imagine you have built great relationships with these people--that should count for something
  6. 0
    Hi there, I'm sorry for your loss. I took 3 bereavement days on an assignment (this was the max allowed). I wasn't given pay for these days, but wasn't penalized like if I would have called in sick. Sadly I was traveling with American Mobile and they messed up my paycheck initially charging me missed shift housing fees. I had to call and say no my family member just died. It was later reimbursed.

    This was my grandmother whom I wasn't the closest to, but still flew home for her funeral.

    Now I have a friend who lost his father and the hospital he was on assignment at said take as much time as you need. This was a great hospital, very nice to its employees and travelers. He took a couple weeks off and wasn't penalized.
  7. 1
    Hello, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I lost my mother in 2003 while on assignment with CCTC. I was actually in report at the beginning of my shift when I received a telephone call that my mother had died. Needless to say, I was in shock but the hospital and my traveling company were phenomenal. The hospital wouldn't hear of my staying for the shift and sent me home to be with my family. I then had another 1 week off. When I returned, the hospital's nurse manager was shocked and said that she had planned to allow me another week if I needed. I was not charged for missed days or housing stipend deductions. I did not receive any pay for that week, but that is completely understandable. While I was on bereavement leave, my recruiter sent a bouquet of flowers to our home. They were truly wonderful and I am forever grateful for their kindness. I have no trouble relating that the company was: CCTC and the hospital was: Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, NY (Unit: Acute Ortho/Neuro/Spinal Rehab).
    whooha likes this.
  8. 0
    Sorry for your loss.

    The quick and dirty answer:
    No bereavement pay. No sick time, No maternity/paternity pay.
    No vacation...You're a traveler. That's all you're paid for. Time worked.
    If you want that safety net you have to go back to a staff position.
  9. 0
    Sorry for your loss. I lost my stepfather who I was close to while on my first assignment in CT. The hospital was awesome, but my recruiter was less than awesome. She threatened to charge me for housing costs for the week I was off and said she expected me back to work on Friday when he passed away on a Monday. I of course took the time I needed and threatened not to travel with her or renew my contract again and I was not charged with the housing costs. I did not get paid for the time off. Even if you are staff, usually you only get three days off for a close relative like a father and only one day off for a friend, but at least it is paid and taken from your pto. Again, sorry for your loss.


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