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Company sues former employees to prevent them from taking another job, citing COVID-19

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
This went to court yesterday and was lifted. But the last I read about it was early in the AM before they went to court.


https://www.wpr.org/thedacare-loses-court-fight-keep-health-care-staff-who-resigned

Basically a health care system had several employees resign and take a new job for the same position/roles for better pay, better work/life balance, and benefits. Before they quit, the employees all went to their bosses and asked them to match or top the offers they were given. The job basically said--GO FISH/F-U and ya mama too...so of course several jumped ship. Job gets mad, cites COVID shortages and basically got a judge to restrain their old employees from starting their new job which would have started yesterday (Jan. 24)--wanted them to be forced to STAY until they can hire replacement staff.
The staff were AT WILL WORKERS. No contracts signed. State of Wisconsin :rolleyes:
THE AUDACITY!

They also couldn't go back to their old job.

Anyhoo, the judge lifted it. But I couldn't help but wonder if a precedent is trying to be set. Implications to me feel like slavery. Implications to me ring true to how many states are becoming more and more authoritarian and restrictive (like how states have filed anti-abortion legislature THOUSANDS OF TIMES, and in 2021/2022 something finally stuck). What if 10 years from now....this kind of stuff keeps getting filed and seeing the light of day in court and finally sticks?
 
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naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
I think people who work for others need to be on the look out. Another article and I have pulled more details:


Despite McGinnis' decision to lift the injunction, it's proper to observe that ThedaCare's court complaint and the temporary injunction turned the concept of "at-will" employment on its head.

The prevailing legal principle governing nonunion employment, "at-will" simply means that an employer can fire a worker for almost any reason. The few exceptions apply to firings reflecting illegal discrimination or in retaliation for complaints about illegal activities, discrimination or harassment, among a handful of other protections.

The at-will principle originated in the 19th century, when craft workers valued their independence and the right to negotiate the sale of their skills to employers as equals. By the 1920s, it had become a millstone around the necks of workers — especially less-skilled workers — because of the power it gave employers to treat them as interchangeable warm bodies.

McGinnis' injunction gave ThedaCare even greater power than that — the power to prevent employees from leaving their jobs. In effect, it undermines the free market for worker skills by absolving ThedaCare of the need to counter Ascension's offer.

Ascension essentially set the going rate for technical expertise in stroke care by offering the workers more than they were earning at ThedaCare and with better hours. (Ascension, unlike ThedaCare, doesn't run its stroke services around the clock.)

ThedaCare didn't choose to meet that rate. Instead, it sought sympathy from the court by complaining about how Ascension's hirings, "at the height of a pandemic surge, will disrupt access to critical care for the people in our region."


The injunction acted as a judicial version of a "noncompete" clause, which allows employers to bar their workers from moving to a putatively rival business. In a few states, including California, noncompete clauses are unenforceable; in others, they've been imposed on professional employees and even fast-food workers.

They may be on their way out nationwide, however, as President Biden last year issued an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission to consider regulations banning any practices that impede worker mobility. The FTC has begun the process.

The at-will principle, meanwhile, has eroded during the pandemic as workers take it upon themselves to search for greener employment pastures. Voluntary separations, or "quits," rose in November to 4.5 million, the highest figure recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and one that reinforced the impression that the U.S. is undergoing a "great resignation."

The ThedaCare workers plainly were participating in the Great Resignation. It's a measure of how ill-equipped employers have been to deal with it that ThedaCare thought it had no option other than to ask a judge to force them to stay.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
 

sunshinebeautiful

Well-Known Member
This went to court yesterday and was lifted. But the last I read about it was early in the AM before they went to court.


https://www.wpr.org/thedacare-loses-court-fight-keep-health-care-staff-who-resigned

Basically a health care system had several employees resign and take a new job for the same position/roles for better pay, better work/life balance, and benefits. Before they quit, the employees all went to their bosses and asked them to match or top the offers they were given. The job basically said--GO FISH/F-U and ya mama too...so of course several jumped ship. Job gets mad, cites COVID shortages and basically got a judge to restrain their old employees from starting their new job which would have started yesterday (Jan. 24)--wanted them to be forced to STAY until they can hire replacement staff.
The staff were AT WILL WORKERS. No contracts signed. State of Wisconsin :rolleyes:
THE AUDACITY!

They also couldn't go back to their old job.

Anyhoo, the judge lifted it. But I couldn't help but wonder if a precedent is trying to be set. Implications to me feel like slavery. Implications to me ring true to how many states are becoming more and more authoritarian and restrictive (like how states have filed anti-abortion legislature THOUSANDS OF TIMES, and in 2021/2022 something finally stuck). What if 10 years from now....this kind of stuff keeps getting filed and seeing the light of day in court and finally sticks?

What in the world kinda craziness?!?! Aint no way this is OK and I find it appalling that this actually went all the way to court - trying to block employees from *quitting* jobs?
 
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