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 In the Week 7 readings, employee rights and responsibilities are discussed. One item briefly mentioned is the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program. Do some research and see if you can find any current literature about whistleblowing activities as reported by healthcare professionals. Summarize and/or share the information you find. A good place to start is the United States Department of Labor Whistleblower.gov site. Demotion, intimidation, reassignment, and other punitive actions are prevented by the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program.Discuss what you discover about the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program and any potential negative impact for healthcare professional(s) when reporting unethical practices.To complete this discussion board assignment:

Chapter 11

Employee Rights

and

Responsibilities

Learning Objectives

• Describe and understand the rights of
employees.

• Describe the responsibilities of employees in the
workplace.

• Discuss what professionals can do to improve
professional relationships.

Employment at Will

• The employer or employee may terminate
employment at any time:
– Unless there is a contract in place that

specifies the terms and duration of
employment.

– Public policy considerations.
– Implied covenant of good faith and fair

dealing.

An at will prerogative without limits
could be suffered only in an anarchy,
and there not for long, it certainly
cannot be suffered in a society such as
ours without weakening the bond of
counter balancing rights and
obligations that holds such societies
together.

—Sides v. Duke

Public Policy Exceptions
Prohibiting Termination

• Public policy exception to the employment-
at-will doctrine provides that employees
may not be terminated for reasons
contrary to public policy.

• Public policy originates with legislative
enactments.

Freedom from Discrimination

– Disability − Religion
– Age − Sex
– Race − National origin
– Creed − Pregnancy
– Color − Filing OSHA complaints

Equal Pay Act of 1964

• Prohibits wage disparities based on sex.
• Prohibits discrimination in payment of wages for

women and men performing substantially equal
work in same establishment.

• Wages may be unequal as long as they are
based on factors other than sex, for example:
– Formalized seniority system.
– System that objectively measures earnings by

quantity or quality of production.

Refuse to Participate in Care

• Refusal to participate in elective abortion upheld.
• Refusal to participate in therapeutic abortion is

insubordinate.
• Some pharmacists refuse to fill birth control

prescriptions.

Caregiver’s Right (1 of 2)

The nurse in the operating suite refuses to
participate in an elective abortion.

• Discuss how an organization might fairly
address this dilemma.

Caregiver’s Right (2 of 2)

• Legal issues
– Employee’s right to religious freedom
– Organization’s responsibility to provide care

• Ethical issues
– Nonmaleficience
– Professional codes of ethics

Questioning Patient Care

• Public policy clearly mandates an obligation to
serve the best interests of patients.

• Persistence to get the proper treatment for the
patient is an absolute

Chapter 15

Summary Case:

Search for Truth

“There is nothing,” says Plato, “so delightful as the
hearing or the speaking of truth”—for this reason
there is no conversation so agreeable as that of
the man of integrity, who hears without any
intention to betray, and speaks without any
intention to deceive.

—Thomas Sherlock

Learning Objectives

• Explain how the spoken word may not always
clearly describe the intent of the message.

• Describe how values are intertwined in the
communication process and how they can be
instrumental in changing the course of one’s
journey through life.

To laugh often and love much; to win the respect
of intelligent persons and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens and
endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate
beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s
self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a
healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed
social condition; to have played and laughed with
enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know
even one life has breathed easier because you
have lived—this is to have succeeded.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Virtues, Values, and Communications

• Each person must evaluate what values and
moral strengths are important.

• When responding to the discussion questions
following the closet drama in this chapter, apply
the virtues and values presented as the pillars of
moral strength.

Communications

• Exchange of thoughts, messages, or information
through speech, signals, writing, or behavior.
– The art and technique of using words

effectively to impart information or ideas.
– Includes both verbal and nonverbal

messages.
– Requires a sender, a message, and an

intended recipient, the receiver.

Case Characters:
Athens Medical Center (AMC)

• Ms. Ophelia Cicero: AMC, survey coordinator
and tour guide

Case Characters:
Inspection Survey Team

• Mr. Daniel Marcus: Administrative reviewer
• Mr. Damon Antonio: Nurse reviewer
• Ms. Margaret Galeria: Nurse trainee
• Dr. Machiavelli: Physician reviewer

Case Characters:
Magistrate and Counselors

• Magistrate: Hearing officer
• Counselor Hadrian: Counsel representing

Marcus
• Counselor Luke: Counsel representing Dr.

Machiavelli and Damon

Case Characters:
Health Review Council

• Mr. Bruce Verus: Marcus’s manager
• Ms. Carol Titus: Mr. Verus’s manager

Case Settings (1 of 2)

• Rome
– Mr. Marcus’s hometown

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