Kaiser Permanente is a major employer in various parts of California. Unfortunately, history indicates Kaiser Permanente might not always take all necessary steps to protect its workers or serve their needs. Our Los Angeles Kaiser Permanente attorneys also know from working with our clients that the company may sometimes illegally fire or otherwise retaliate against employees who draw attention to such issues.
Thus, it will be interesting to see how Kaiser Permanente responds to a potential strike among nearly 21,000 of its nurses.
As of this writing, almost 21,000 nurses and nurse practitioners employed by Kaiser Permanente at nearly two dozen of the company’s facilities plan to go on strike on November 21 and 22. Their complaint pertains to the minimal effort they believe Kaiser Permanente has made to address burdens they’ve faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Cathy Kennedy, president of the California Nurses Association, “we always want to give our patients the best care, but Kaiser refuses to provide the resources we need to do our jobs safely.”
Specific complaints the nurses participating in the protest have involve such issues as:
- Short-staffing, which prevents patients from receiving care in a timely manner
- Lack of proper guidelines regarding minimal staffing
- Inadequate training and hiring of new nurses to address pandemic shortages
- Lack of protection against Kaiser Permanente’s outsourcing and subcontracting tactics
- Nurses being assigned to units where they have not developed competency
- Lack of reasonable work schedule for home health nurses
During the days of the strike, the nurses state they will assemble outside certain Kaiser Permanente locations at 7:00 in the morning and picket until 5:00 PM.
In a statement, Kaiser Permanente spokespeople indicated they’d been working with CNA for months to address their grievances. Apparently, CNA feels they have not done enough.
Several of the nurses who plan on joining in the protests make it clear that the issues they wish to resolve aren’t merely about satisfying their own demands and reducing their own personal stress. They emphasize that when nurses are overburdened, short-staffed, forced to work in units where they haven’t developed competency, and more, patients are often the ones who suffer the most.
By the time this is published, the protests will have theoretically already occurred, and we might have more information regarding how Kaiser Permanente will respond to them. While it’s unlikely the company would ever be able to retaliate against such a large number of its employees, once more, Kaiser Permanente has been known to take unfair and even illegal action against workers who voice concerns about unsafe work conditions and various similar matters.
Are you a Kaiser Permanente employee? If so, you’ll hopefully always be treated with the respect you deserve.
However, if your employer ever does take unlawful action against you, such as firing you for being a whistleblower, our team of Los Angeles Kaiser Permanente lawyers at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers is on hand to offer the representation you deserve. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 310-527-6994.
Last November, leaders representing more than 50,000 nurses and medical staff in the Kaiser and Alliance of Health Care Unions...