Monday, March 1, 2010

Washington Hospital Needs its Head Examined

Washington Hospital Needs its Head Examined
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 1, 2010

Shame on Washington Hospital Center for its unconscionable and thoughtless behavior firing 11 nurses and five support staff simply for not being able to traverse the treacherous roads and arrive to work during the historic February blizzards. This after an admission by hospital spokesman So Young Pak that WHC-provided transportation could not retrieve employees.

“Pak said the hospital provided transportation for employees during the storm, but union representatives said it was not available at all times. …the vehicles could not reach every street. …some nurses have photos that show their streets were impassable.” (“11 nurses fired after snowstorm absences,” Feb. 28)

Many streets and some neighborhoods could not be plowed for even the heartiest to access. There were injuries and deaths on the roads. What good would that have been for WHC had their employees been among them?

The storms had been predicted for days. The short-sighted hospital should have made lodging arrangements for their essential personnel to ensure their presence at work. Short of that, send the EMTs to transport the employees.

These are always reasonable solutions. Reasonable institutions should not behave in an unreasonable manor regarding employees making a reasonable effort to be able to do their essential work. Get these folks back on the clock – with back pay.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

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