posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 01:31 AM
A few years ago I had the audacity to question the department of labor (DOL) for showing up at my business doorway without cause multiple times in a
three year period. My wife and I built a hospice related agency 12 years ago and are very proud to be associated with the many great and wonderful
staff members, patients, and families we have come to know.
The DOL has begun a clear and undeniable course of abuse, bullying, and harassment. Although we have met every standard each and every time, they have
refused to issue a final determination which in effect renders this an "ongoing investigation" with absolutely no real reason why they are there in
the first place.With no documentation to dispute, they simply put our case aside for a while, and then show back up completely unannounced a few
months later and try to make us start the entire costly process all over again. All we know is that they seem intent on claiming our field nurses do
not meet the definition of contract staff, even though this is clearly outlined from the first meeting with them and they sign contracts to work with
our patients explicitly explaining the contractor rights and expectations. We then lose the right to require them to accept patients, we cannot
enforce even the most basic needs of a patient, and in fact encourage them to take work with competitors to validate their own contract status, which
they all do. In fact, when we began the business we got our policies and procedures from the DOL themselves!!
The problem is that this time I suspect they are preparing to levy a crushing fine for not bending to their will. Working for the government as we do
already guarantees we are treading thin ice financially and are marginal in hopes of fiscal survival anyway. If the DOL insists on their vendetta,
they will push many good people out of a job and the result is that those in our industry who really do operate outside moral and ethical boundaries
will be the only ones left treating dying patients. In other words, if I was willing to lie, cheat, and steal I would be fine, but since we are honest
we are being penalized. I cannot turn my back on our unbelievably devoted staff, their families, or my own so I must find a way.
Does anyone know where my rights are for harassment? Does anyone have advice on how to preserve what my wife and I believe to be our "calling"? I
would love to invite the media to the next meeting with the DOL, but I don't know how to make it truly attractive enough to them in order to actually
expect them to show up. We have had so much profit loss due to health care reform in the last few years there is no money for an attorney. We had
begun to believe we were seeing the light at the end of the financial tunnel but then the DOL showed back up again.
I am running out of time rapidly, perhaps tomorrow, maybe as late as next week, but they are coming. Any help and good advice is more than