Thread: Denied Unemployment
05-07-2010, 10:00 AM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
As an EMT in Pennsylvania I was, until recently, employed as the First Aid and Safety Supervisor at a private facility. I choose to resign my position due to a conflict with company policy and state guidelines. I was subsequently denied UC benefits with the reason being that I did not prove that my leaving was for a "necessitous and compelling nature".
Here is some background. I was promoted to the supervisor position over 1 year ago. All of the employees that worked in my department were EMT-B's or Paramedic's. We keep paper PCR's and only transmit them to the hospital when a patient is transported via ambulance. We are responsible for filling out and logging all insurance claims. The management came to me and wanted to give access to the PCR files to 4 managers. None of those managers have HIPAA training, or hold a state license to practice EMS. I explained the need to follow HIPAA and the legal liability they are opening themselves and the first aid staff to.
I was called into a meeting with upper management and told that they would have access to the files. They also wanted to change the way we handled injuries. They changed the PCR's, removing the PMH, meds, and allergies sections. The changed the patient refusal forms, removing the section to document MC information. They also told me that we would immediately stop asking for PMH, meds, allergies. We would also no longer provide BLS care per protocol, but would instead wait until an ambulance arrives onscene, if needed.
I explained that as licensed professionals we are required to follow protocol and provide due care when treating patients. I advised them that if we do not follow protocol we are liable for any injury that is aggravated by us not providing care. I further explained that all treatment and information gathered must be documented for legal purposes.
They expressed that it does not matter, we work for them and will follow the company guidelines. It was then recommended that we carry our own malpractice insurance, due to the fact that the company insurance will not cover us if we provide skills covered under our EMS license.
So after all that background, sorry it was so long, does anyone have any advice for appealing the UC decision? Am I off base in thinking that continuing employment there could have an adverse outcome? I'm looking not only for advice, but also for legal references if anybody has any. Thanks in advance for your help with this.
05-07-2010, 02:06 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
Yes staying there could have been bad. But by leaving like you did, you eliminated your "inside" ability to legally change their practices and/or make them adhere to laws as they should.
There is a Whistleblower Act which would have protected you if you felt that concerned.
As for your unemployment, you resigned. You made it very, very easy for that company by leaving as they just got rid of a "problem child" AND they do not have to fund his unemployment.
Rookie mistakes...now move on and go get another job.
05-07-2010, 06:07 PM #3
I agree with the Flight Medic.
-Did you file your complaints to your immediate supervisor in writing, and keep copies?
-Did you file your complaints to the corporate Legal division?
-Did you file complaints with the state EMS office?
Having worked for a few years as an Industrial Safety Technician in the Petrochemical and Heavy Industrial industries in the Philadelphia area for about 5 years, I can speak with experience when I say that most corporations do have their own way of doing things that may seem "out of line" to those of us who also have Municipal EMS experience. I'm pretty sure that any job related injuries on the employers property entitle them to view any and all reports generated by their own responders; with the exception of past medical histories. Reading your post, it sounds as if they were following the letter of the law by not wanting to see PMH, which as you and I know can and does help tremendously when treating a patient. How to get around it? I don't know.
I say, consult with an Attorney who specializes in workman's comp issues. But I am pretty sure that without a paper trail on your end showing your due dilligence in trying to protect the company and yourself, you are screwed."Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
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