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.