05/22/2015 No Comments
HILO, HAMAKUA, and KAU
As you know, HHSC will be laying off about 90 employees. All HHSC employees, regardless of seniority, should consider preparing by doing some of the following:
1. Get a copy of your collective bargaining agreement, union contract or employment agreement (non-union) that is still good for this year and read the part about “Layoffs” and “Reduction in Force.”
2. Understand your options and the process.
3. Contact your union shop steward and business agent to have a meeting to discuss the layoff process and answer questions you may have.
4. Ask the union for, or if non-union, request from HR the criteria or factors the Hospital is using to identify which workers will be laid off or subject to the RIF. If you feel that you may be on the bubble or fit in that category, you should consult with your union about your options.
For example, you should determine how much sick leave and vacation leave you have. You need to find out if you are laid off, will you be cashed out on sick and/or vacation leave.
5. Don’t panic. There is a structured process that the Hospital must follow for any layoff or RIF. You need to understand the process and the timetable.
6. Realize some people will be laid off or subject to the RIF. If you are one of them, you should discuss it with your family, review the status of your finances, prepare your resume and send it out. In this market, you should seriously consider sending your resume out to agencies or hospitals on other islands. Use your medical insurance now to cover any medical, dental or vision procedures that you may have been putting off.
7. You should contact the Employees’ Retirement System to determine what will happen to your retirement if you are laid off and what is the timetable for reinstating your retirement without any loss to your retirement.
8. If you feel that HHSC singled you out for layoff for illegitimate reasons, you need to consult with your union business agent as soon as possible.
These are difficult and stressful times. But there are rules and a process HHSC must follow in implementing any layoff. You need to understand that process so you know what your options are.
These are only suggestions and not intended to provide legal advice or guidance. These suggestions are not a substitute for consulting with an experienced attorney or your union representative.