Telling people they cannot quit for a better opportunity is blatantly unconstitutional. But that just happened in Wisconsin...
The Appleton, Wisconsin Post-Crescent reports Fox Valley Health Care Workers Now Playing Out in Court.
The seven workers quit ThedaCare, applied for positions at Ascension, and received job offers.
The seven did not have contracts or obligations at ThedaCare nor did Ascension recruit those workers.
Nonetheless, ThedaCare filed a lawsuit seeking to block the move.
Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Mark McGinnis granted ThedaCare's request and until at least Monday.
In the complaint, lawyers for ThedaCare wrote that Ascension had "shockingly" chosen to "poach" the employees during a stressful time for health care. More COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in the Fox Valley now than at any other time during the pandemic, according to Wisconsin Hospital Association data, and ThedaCare has canceled non-emergency surgeries to make space.
ThedaCare-Neenah is a Level II Trauma Center, part of which means they have specialists like interventional radiologists available regularly to treat patients. Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital, a Level III Trauma Center, can provide initial support to trauma patients and is able to transfer them to ThedaCare-Neenah for more care, according to definitions from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Ascension says it did not recruit the workers and that ThedaCare had an opportunity to make counter-offers but didn't.
Timothy Breister, one of applicants in the dispute said the pay, the benefits, and the life-style options offered by Ascension were better.
Its "not just in pay but also a better work/life balance," said Breister.
After approaching ThedaCare with the chance to match the offers they'd been given, Breister wrote that they were told "the long term expense to ThedaCare was not worth the short term cost," and no counter-offer would be made.
You Can't Quit
Effectively the judge ruled the workers cannot quit. Wow.
This is an open and shut case if the facts are even close to those presented.
If I was Breister, I would consider showing up at Ascension as well as filing a recall petition for Judge Mark McGinnis.
Wisconsin judges may be removed in one of four ways: By the Wisconsin Supreme Court, by recall, by legislative impeachment and by an obscure mechanism called address, which is similar to impeachment.
The irony in this ridiculous ruling by judge McGinnis is that the seven workers will not be at work for either ThedaCare or Ascension next week unless the workers ignore the restraining order.
McGinnis wants the parties to work it out. But there is nothing to work out.
Telling people they cannot quit for a better opportunity is blatantly unconstitutional.
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