William Beaumont Hospital and Jeri Antilla Case
The William Beaumont hospital and Jeri Antilla case is about two employees who sued the hospital for wrongful termination. According to the hospital, after investigation, it determined that the two workers were guilty of misconduct, including abusive language and bullying, at the work place thus terminated their employment. Additionally, they violated the code of conduct by being condescending and sarcastic towards other members of the staff, especially the newer nurses. I agree with the decision made by the hospital because during hiring, the nurses must have been made aware of the rules and regulations of the establishment, inclusive of the code of conduct (Burns, 2016). The National Labor Relations Board amended the complaint to reveal the fact that the code of conduct in question allowed the hospital to discourage section 7 of under the NLRA (Deakins). This section includes engaging in concerted activities involving mutual aid whereby the nurses were not accused of any specific violation. I also agree with this decision because, the NLRA is supposed to protect employees such as the two nurses thus the importance of calling out the hospital on their code.
The Administrative Law Judge determined that the code of conduct addressed by the hospital was ambiguous and exaggerated after analyzing the code, which covered specific concerns regarding two work rules that prohibited physical or verbal gestures that surpassed the confines of fair criticism (Burns, 2016). The rules violated section 8 of the NLRA because the rules could be interpreted as limiting lawful discussions and complaints that are protected under section 7 of the Act. By issuing a direct order to the employees not to discuss an investigation with the co-workers in an event involving a patient in the hospital, the facility violated section 8 of the labor Act (Dekins). However, I do not agree with this decision because it sent a mixed message to employees. It simply says that the NLRB pays more attention to policy and handbook provisions that relate to personal interaction among employees. The attention does not define a conclusion in which intimidating and bullying behavior is prohibited by the NLRA thus a confusing message to the employees.
The hospital could have handled the situation differently by anticipating the actions of the nurses in question. Indeed, the prohibitions and violations of section 8 should have been properly reviewed before putting the hospital through many legal procedures. It should have sought the legal guidance of a lawyer in the proceedings to close all the loopholes that could come back to affect them in the future. Even though the nurses were not offered their jobs back due to unrelated issues, the hospital could have faced negative consequences had it only charged them with the violations stipulated in their policy hand book. That is, there was some wide range avenues for exploration that could have caused the establishment a lot of liability yet the situation could have been avoided.
If I were the supervisor, I would take my time to build a solid case because if they went against some of the hospital rules, it is highly likely that they violated others. Indeed, I would pursue the matter with caution to ensure I leave no room for mistakes. When employer policies and work rules are not clearly evaluated, employers are left to figure out the constituents of a lawful work rule. As such, employers should consult labor lawyers, which is what I would have done as the supervisor. The lawyers would have helped me go through the narrowly tailored work rules thus avoid mistakes that would cause the hospital problems.
Burns. M. (April,26,2016) NLRB comes down hard on Beaumont hospital; one board member dissents strongly. AS Online. Retrieved from https://www.aseonline.org/News/Articles/ArtMID/628/ArticleID/797/NLRB-Comes-Down-Hard-on-Beaumont-Hospital-One-Board-Member-Dissents-Strongly
Deakins O. NLRB finds policy against certain “verbal comments or physical gestures” may restrict concerted activity. Employment Law Matters. Retrieved from https://www.employmentlawmatters.net/2014/02/articles/nlra/nlrb-finds-policy-against-certain-verbal-comments-or-physical-gestures-may-restrict-concerted-activity/