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BULLYING at work as Usual

Updated | Posted

Specializes in Cardiac, Telemetry. Has 3 years experience.

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So long story short without giving too many specific details, I provided a doctor's excuse to cover a certain amount of days but was told by the nurse supervisor that doctor excuses are not acceptable to cover absences. Only COVID related illnesses and testing excuse absences - without a doctor's note. This is not written in the policy.

Policy states documented/approved absences will be excused. I feel this is a clear cut case of intimidation. I could be wrong. I really try not to jump to conclusions but this feels like plain intimidating tactics. 

Thoughts??

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

There is a looming crisis with a lack of nurse's. I'm sure you will be in great demand if they foolishly drive you away. 

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

I am confused if your excuse was covid or not. Either way sounds like BS to me cuz a MD note should cover you either way, esp if they are going against their policy.

CardiTeleRN, BSN

Specializes in Cardiac, Telemetry. Has 3 years experience.

Just now, Daisy4RN said:

I am confused if your excuse was covid or not. Either way sounds like BS to me cuz a MD note should cover you either way, esp if they are going against their policy.

Ironically, my excuse was actually covid related but not to illness, more of an exemption of working covid units due to my other chronic condition. Nurse supervisor is not pleased with that to say the least and I feel the nurse supervisor is exerting some sort of power move that is atrocious. 

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

Employers can require a doctor's note for illness absences but they aren't required to allow a doctor to dictate how they should view the absence with the exception of FMLA.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

1 minute ago, CardiTeleRN said:

Ironically, my excuse was actually covid related but not to illness, more of an exemption of working covid units due to my other chronic condition. Nurse supervisor is not pleased with that to say the least and I feel the nurse supervisor is exerting some sort of power move that is atrocious. 

There is no legal requirement to avoid scheduling people with chronic illnesses in a Covid unit, that would be pretty difficult since 60% of the population have conditions that increase their Covid mortality risk.  Even if the chronic condition counts as a disability they still aren't required to accommodate you since doing so would unfairly increase the risk to other staff who would have to work in the Covid unit more than their fair share.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

1 minute ago, CardiTeleRN said:

Ironically, my excuse was actually covid related but not to illness, more of an exemption of working covid units due to my other chronic condition. Nurse supervisor is not pleased with that to say the least and I feel the nurse supervisor is exerting some sort of power move that is atrocious. 

If you have a Chronic illness and they keep giving you a hard time maybe tpu can qualify for FMLA, check online for info to see if you qualify, rules etc. If you qualify, and obtain paper work, they cannot hold absenses against you.

CardiTeleRN, BSN

Specializes in Cardiac, Telemetry. Has 3 years experience.

4 minutes ago, MunoRN said:

There is no legal requirement to avoid scheduling people with chronic illnesses in a Covid unit, that would be pretty difficult since 60% of the population have conditions that increase their Covid mortality risk.  Even if the chronic condition counts as a disability they still aren't required to accommodate you since doing so would unfairly increase the risk to other staff who would have to work in the Covid unit more than their fair share.

Well at my employment, they actually have a policy in place that allows exemptions for those with chronic illnesses. There is just a process that needs to be completed such as completing the exemption form and having a PCP complete the form to basically verify such conditions actually exists. Then there is a processing time that's actually pretty short, less than a week. The issue is, my nurse supervisor does not want to honor my excuse that clearly states the absences are related to this.

 

There is an employee who is constantly absence for obvious excuse "car broke down, car won't start, kid sick, they're sick" and nothing has come of it. 

I don't want to be that guy that points; however, I am obviously being bullied. This is OBVIOUS. Especially if we are entertaining the idea that the absences are up to the supervisor's discretion.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

2 minutes ago, CardiTeleRN said:

Well at my employment, they actually have a policy in place that allows exemptions for those with chronic illnesses. There is just a process that needs to be completed such as completing the exemption form and having a PCP complete the form to basically verify such conditions actually exists. Then there is a processing time that's actually pretty short, less than a week. The issue is, my nurse supervisor does not want to honor my excuse that clearly states the absences are related to this.

 

There is an employee who is constantly absence for obvious excuse "car broke down, car won't start, kid sick, they're sick" and nothing has come of it. 

I don't want to be that guy that points; however, I am obviously being bullied. This is OBVIOUS. Especially if we are entertaining the idea that the absences are up to the supervisor's discretion.

There's no reason to assume that you are being bullied.

Since the employer isn't required to exempt certainly employees from working in the Covid unit, then who they choose to exempt is by definition their discretion.

My employer does exempt some employees but only the highest risk, which are those over 55 with a high-risk condition for Covid.  So if you're under 55 it wouldn't be surprising if they don't consider you exempt just because you have a chronic condition but are relatively young.

CardiTeleRN, BSN

Specializes in Cardiac, Telemetry. Has 3 years experience.

1 minute ago, MunoRN said:

There's no reason to assume that you are being bullied.

Since the employer isn't required to exempt certainly employees from working in the Covid unit, then who they choose to exempt is by definition their discretion.

My employer does exempt some employees but only the highest risk, which are those over 55 with a high-risk condition for Covid.  So if you're under 55 it wouldn't be surprising if they don't consider you exempt just because you have a chronic condition but are relatively young.

Well, there are other criteria that we have listed. Plus, there are plenty of young people with cancer DX, pulomonary fibrosis, etc, that will put them at risk. People still have to work and pay bills but no where in our contract does it state, we HAVE to work with COVID/pandemic related patient populations. Things should not be assumed. If we are to assume things, then I could easily assume my doctor's note could excuse my absence. I am not sure why cynical health care systems feel they have the right to be subjective when they feel like it. 

Also, everyone under 55 should not be assumed to be "healthy". I've met way more healthy 55+ year olds than younger people these days. 

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

5 minutes ago, CardiTeleRN said:

Well, there are other criteria that we have listed. Plus, there are plenty of young people with cancer DX, pulomonary fibrosis, etc, that will put them at risk. People still have to work and pay bills but no where in our contract does it state, we HAVE to work with COVID/pandemic related patient populations. Things should not be assumed. If we are to assume things, then I could easily assume my doctor's note could excuse my absence. I am not sure why cynical health care systems feel they have the right to be subjective when they feel like it. 

Also, everyone under 55 should not be assumed to be "healthy". I've met way more healthy 55+ year olds than younger people these days. 

It would be pretty unusual for a contract to specifically state the type of patients you might be asked to care for.  Typically a contract or job description will include intentionally broad language on this topic.

You're correct that not everyone under 55 is necessarily 'healthy', but statistically speaking risk of Covid mortality begins to increase exponentially with advanced age combined with certain conditions.  It wouldn't make sense to exempt young employees with less severe / well managed conditions if that would then necessitate staffing the unit with higher risk staff.

CardiTeleRN, BSN

Specializes in Cardiac, Telemetry. Has 3 years experience.

1 minute ago, MunoRN said:

It would be pretty unusual for a contract to specifically state the type of patients you might be asked to care for.  Typically a contract or job description will include intentionally broad language on this topic.

You're correct that not everyone under 55 is necessarily 'healthy', but statistically speaking risk of Covid mortality begins to increase exponentially with advanced age combined with certain conditions.  It wouldn't make sense to exempt young employees with less severe / well managed conditions if that would then necessitate staffing the unit with higher risk staff.

I don't believe I can agree with that because we have all seen people of all ages parish from COVID without underlying conditions. I think this is the mindset of many health care facilities at this point. Sacrifice us "younger" staff with the thought of we are at less risk of severe outcomes in case we become infected with COVID...

At this time, I am going against the grain and I am going to have to refuse to be the sacrifice for the sake of my very small children, my elderly parents that I care for, and myself with my own chronic conditions. I have noticed the facility admit asymptomatic COVID patients, overfilling our COVID units. I'd like to think it is because the facility genially cares and want to monitor our patients; however, I don't feel this is the case and it is money related as most decisions that guide health care...

 

We have lost SO many nurses in the last 6 months, I have never seen nurses leave by the bulk like this is such a short time span. I have never seen ANY staff leave a place of employment by the bulk in such a short time span. The manipulation, intimidation, fear tactics, etc that normally in the workplace with management is in full force at this time where we should be sticking together as health care professionals. 

 

There isn't even a "thank you" after nurses are forced, not volunteered, to work COVID units. There is nothing but threats of constant emailing from management about what will happen if they don't. It is sickening.