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Hospital changes attendance policy

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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. :confused:

Edited by mcpkin

OldnurseRN

Specializes in ED, Med-Surg, Psych, Oncology, Hospice. Has 30 years experience.

Our hospital is quite similar, both in policy and census. They assign a point for each infraction including the mandatory attendence of nurses meetings.

BrnEyedGirl, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in Cardiac, ER. Has 18 years experience.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

OldnurseRN

Specializes in ED, Med-Surg, Psych, Oncology, Hospice. Has 30 years experience.

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.

Zookeeper3

Specializes in ICU, ER, EP,. Has 17 years experience.

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?

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.

:twocents:

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

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.

rngolfer53

Has 2 years experience.

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. :confused:

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.

OC_An Khe

Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED. Has 40 years experience.

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.

cardiacmadeline, RN

Specializes in cardiothoracic surgery. Has 6 years experience.

What if you are late to work? If we are even one minute late, it counts as half of a sick day. Of course, this doesn't count for salaried employees since they don't have to punch in.

AnnaN5

Specializes in AGNP. Has 7 years experience.

Our attendance policy is similar. An absence is 1 point, tardy is 1/2 point, forgetting to punch 1/2 point, etc. And after so many points you get a verbal, then a written warning and so on and it can eventually lead to termination.

The one good thing is that we were required to get the seasonal and H1N1 vaccine or sign a declination form. If you got the vaccines you are except from the point system if you do indeed get the flu and I also believe if a family member gets the flu and you need to take time off you are also exempt from getting points.

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

I'm wondering if a number of you didn't get the flu vaccines?

I got the seasonal flu vaccine, but I really had to push for it. There's a huge shortage in my area. I work in LTC; employees and residents aren't being offered the H1N1 vaccine because the elderly are a low-risk group.

First of all, get a copy of the old policy and the new policy. Analyze the differences for possible reasons for the change.

Not blowing my horn here, but I just got someone out of predismissal for attendance issues. In the past she had big problems, but things sort of went hush hush while she accrued sick leave as demanded. Then one day, she was LATE. And she called ahead and said she was late, but would be there. And then out of the blue...

She was on the verge of being terminated. I proposed to HR that she be put in a probationary status, and I did that because there was no getting around this girl's history. The head of HR for the entire state compromised from 24 to 18 months, but as i understand it she cannot be late as part of the program. Nor can she go into LWOP status. When I explained this to the employee, she was over the moon. I advised her to think about her shift beginning 15 minutes ahead of normal, and frame it in her mind that way. I have not had a chance to look up the draft agreement that HR is putting together that we both have to sign. It has to be airtight.

Lateness happens. You wrap your head around a start time and how long it takes you to get there. So to combat the possibility you know your official start time, you have to get used to the fact that you need to be there earlier than that. For absences, get the paperwork in place showing you have a condition (H1N1 maybe) requiring you might have to take off to care for a child with pneumonis Oor a child with diabetes or cystic fibrosis, or even behavioral issues, or your own mental health, or WHATEVER. I've see ONE employee blow her last chance agreement. One month before it was up she took a painkiller on one of her days off. That was the end of her job, even though she'd been a model employee and never impaired on the job. I was incredulous that my own stupid union let this LCA go through without an end date. At some point anyone with any kind of issue needs to be assured that they will no longer be in perpetual boiling water with management again.

What if you are late to work? If we are even one minute late, it counts as half of a sick day. Of course, this doesn't count for salaried employees since they don't have to punch in.

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.

So true, so true.