Schroeder Interviewed on Patient Violence and Physician Termination
Eastman & Smith associate Anna L. Schroeder recently spoke with DecisionHealth regarding patient violence and firing doctors for embarrassing their employers.
In regards to patient violence against employees of medical establishments, Ms. Schroeder says the Occupational Health and Safety Act “imposes upon all employers the duty to provide a workplace ‘free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to . . . employees.’” She further states:
- Employers should know victims of some crimes have rights to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
- Employees could be entitled to accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may protect some employees from employer retaliation as well as adverse employment actions.
Typically contracts between doctors and their employers include “morals clauses” or terms that require physicians to not embarrass their employers. Ms. Schroeder told DecisionHealth: “the First Amendment protects our freedom of speech from intrusion by the government, private actors are not subject to the First Amendment.” However, some speech is protected by the National Labor Relations Act. (For more on free speech, protected speech and employment in general see the Eastman & Smith article, “Capitol Rioters Are Being Fired by Their Employers.”)
Ms. Schroeder is part of Eastman & Smith’s Health Care Law Practice Group where she frequently engages in the corporate, transactional and regulatory needs of clients and is familiar with compliance issues including Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other federal and state laws.