Afton Hospital has 50 employees. All staff are members of the same trade union and differ by type of employment and age. The report on the composition of personnel requires an assessment of the impact of labor legislation, as well as optimization of resources, taking into account the possible departure of several employees on health leave. The main challenge is to maintain or improve adequate patient care with available staff resources.
There is no division between full-time and part-time workers in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), so the difference in these designations is determined by companies. This law regulates the minimum wage per hour, equal pay without discrimination on various grounds, child labor, and record-keeping. ACA mandates compulsory health insurance for all employees who work at least 30 hours a week. The Retirement Benefits Act requires part-time employees to be able to join retirement plans available to full-time employees.
The law sets out specific rules for the minimum wage, set at $ 7.25 per hour (Conkel, 2020). In addition, Tax-exempt employees are not eligible for overtime work for hours above 40 per week. Unpaid employees must be paid one and a half working hours for hours worked more than 40 hours in a working week. The hospital offers three types of employment: full-time, part-time, and contractual. Contracted employees often work overtime, resulting in overpayment (Conkel, 2020). Full-time employment means 30-40 working hours per week, while part-time work is less than 30 (Marks, 2020). Benefits are provided to employees for long service or merit in work. Common perks are the provision of vehicles, office supplies, accommodation, meals and drinks, and more.
Taking into account the requirements of the legislation above, it is necessary to optimize personnel by type of employment. Management needs to assess the number of hours required to fully and adequately serve patients given the maximum and unplanned hospital burden likely to occur during a pandemic (Farell et al., 2020). Contract workers should be offered part-time or even full-time transfers. First, it will reduce hospital overtime costs. Second, the hospital staff will have more permanent staff at their disposal. Finally, employees themselves will be able to count on the benefits provided by the FLSA, ACA, and FMLA.
The FLSA sets a minimum wage that does not differ for full or part-time employment. Therefore, the main resource that needs to be managed at Afton Hospital is time. Financial resources are distributed following employee salaries and benefits provided by law. Management needs to make a flat rate of wage per hour for full-time and part-time employees with the same working conditions. However, a part-time employee may not be eligible for the same overtime rate as a full-time employee until they have worked the same number of hours as a full-time employee would have worked before receiving overtime pay.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) establishes a system of laws to promote and regulate safety in the workplace. This law obliges employers to create working conditions that exclude hazards and harm to health. These activities include controlling the limit of chemicals and the use of personal protective equipment, their permanent depreciation, and training of employees in safety precautions. In addition, this includes labor protection from harmful production factors, such as high temperature, clean air, and many others. Documentation requires monitoring staff progress through training and their satisfaction with legal compliance. All employers are required to notify OSHA when an employee dies on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss (Michaels & Wagner, 2020). In a hospital setting, this is especially important, since the risk of viral diseases increases here. If management turns to high school students for help, compliance with legal requirements will require a greater investment of resources.
Youth employment is also regulated by the FLSA through minimum wage levels, maximum hours, and more careful record keeping. The last event requires more time and resources. Young people can work no more than 18 hours per week of study, no more than 8 hours on a non-school day, and no more than 40 hours in a non-school week. Manufacturing, processing, and mining; work in the field of communications or utilities; construction or renovation work is prohibited by law for young people (Nour et al., 2020). Not only should physical injury be prevented by such prohibitions, but psychologically demanding work should not be performed by young people. In addition, work requires high professionalism and training, on which human life and the safety of other employees depend. In addition, young people need to be protected from the effects of chemicals (medicines) and contact with potentially infectious patients. The employment of young people will help compensate for the departure of four employees on vacation while preserving their place. Record keeping and activities aimed at security control will require more time, which should be covered by the transition of contract employees to other types of employment.
Membership of employees in trade unions tends to entail tighter control over compliance with working conditions legislation. Consequently, the contract with the union indirectly affects both the schedule and the benefits (Finnigan & Hale, 2018). These include a fundraising program, partly covered by the employer, and immunity from civil claims. Part-time employees should be offered the same benefits as full-time employees to avoid violating corporate ethics and possible complications in relations with the union. It is an important event, as all employees belong to the same trade union, so you should maintain productive cooperation with it and avoid conflicts. Employees with a state in the union can count on benefits from pension investments, investments in other funds, vacations, and compliance with comfortable working conditions by the employer. However, if an employee is not a union member, it will be more difficult for him to obtain the appropriate benefits from the employer, while union membership provides him with reliable protection.
The Family Leave Act (FMLA) mandates leave from 12 to 26 weeks for several good reasons. It also includes employees who have announced upcoming maternity and health leave. An important point, in this case, is the preservation of a place for the employee. These vacations are not funded by the employer, so the allocation of resources is again aimed at optimizing and preserving working hours and the required number of staff. The problem of the availability of personnel can be solved by recruiting young people with all accompanying measures so that their part-time employment can cover the missing vacancies during the holidays of the four hospital employees. Transferring full-time workers under a contract, wherever possible, will partially close shifts of workers on forced leave. The remaining hours will be closed by young people in accordance with FLSA law.
Due to the requirements of the aforementioned laws and to maintain the level of patient care, Afton Hospital needs to provide leave for four employees, compensate for their absence from high school students, transfer contracted workers to full or part-time employment and allocate resources for better record-keeping in case recruiting youth. This personnel optimization plan provides for little or no financial costs and an increase in several permanent employees.
Youth who will be admitted to the hospital should be provided with personal protective equipment and high-quality safety explanations with documented monitoring of their understanding. Employees who require leave will be provided in accordance with the law. Their absence will be compensated by young people, and the regulation of trade union relations is respected through the benefits provided and the provision of necessary working conditions, which are also regulated by the employee safety law.
Conkel, M. G. (2020). ‘The Lost Approach to FLSA Settlement Agreements: A Freedom-of-Contract Approach’, Georgia Law Review, 55, p. 815.
Farrell, T. W., Ferrante, L. E., Brown, T., Francis, L., Widera, E., Rhodes, R. & Saliba, D. (2020). ‘AGS position statement: resource allocation strategies and age‐related considerations in the COVID‐19 era and beyond’, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 68(6), pp. 1136-1142.
Finnigan R. & Hale J. M. (2018) ‘Working 9 to 5? Union Membership and Work Hours and Schedules’, Social Forces, 96(4), pp. 1541–1568
Michaels, D., & Wagner, G. R. (2020). ‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic’. Jama. Web.
Marks, P. (2020). Covering America’s Contingent Worker: The Effect of ACA Mechanisms on the Insurance Prospects of Part-Time Workers. Senior Theses. Princeton University.
Nour, M. M., Field, W. E., Ni, J. Q., & Cheng, Y. H. (2020). ‘Farm-related injuries and fatalities involving children, youth, and young workers during manure storage, handling, and transport’. Journal of Agromedicine, pp. 1-11. Web.