Judge Grants Hospital's Request To Stop Workers From Taking Better Jobs

By Bill Galluccio

January 24, 2022

Doctor working in hospital to fight 2019 coronavirus disease or COVID-19. Professional healthcare people with other doctors, nurse and surgeon. Corona virus medical care and protection concept.
Photo: Getty Images

A Wisconsin court has ruled in favor of a hospital trying to prevent seven of its employees from leaving for better jobs at a competing hospital. Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Mark J. McGinnis granted a temporary restraining order telling Ascension Northeast Wisconsin to return a radiology technician and a registered nurse to ThedaCare or cease hiring all seven workers until replacements can be hired.

The employees, who were all at-will, said they were looking for jobs that provided higher pay and a better work/life balance. Ascension said that it did not actively recruit the workers and pointed out that ThedaCare was given the chance to match the employment offers they made.

"It is Ascension Wisconsin's understanding that ThedaCare had an opportunity but declined to make competitive counter offers to retain its former employees," the hospital said in a statement.

ThedaCare argued that losing seven employees all at once would harm their ability to provide adequate care to patients.

"The decision by Ascension Wisconsin to hire away such a significant portion of ThedaCare's interventional radiology specialty support team all at once, and at the height of a pandemic surge, will disrupt access to critical care for the people in our region," ThedaCare CEO Imran Andrabi, said according to WFRV.

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