Cruelty to Veterans Exposed at Ambulance Provider Verihealth/Falck

Posted by Sherlock Pwahrow on March 9, 2016 at 9:05 PM

Here's some of the gory detailsFireWA1 said: 

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The complaint filed with the US Dept of Labor OFCCP (#100180804) against Falck and its subsidiaries, Falck USA (Washington state) and Lifestar USA (Washington, D.C) alleged several claims of discrimination against veterans:
* That one dispatcher conducted a 4 1/2 year campaign of harassment against a veteran, because he was a veteran, including: bullying, dangerous assignments, assignment to rigs with a histroy of mechanical breakdowns, harassment, illegal mandatory overtime, excessive deprivation of meal and bathroom breaks, sleep deprivation through scheduling assignments, failure to supply lift assists for two man crews on bariatric assignment, failure to send tow trucks while stranded in a snow storm, and attempts to impose illegal orders that would jeopardize patients and fellow crewmembers.

The complaint specifies names and dates of these incidents in great detail.
* That one of the subsidiary company's managing accountants attempted to discriminate against veterans as a class in the following way: the plan was to fire all veterans, in order to take advantage of federal tax breaks twice over. Since there is a tax benefit for hiring certain veterans, the plan was to take the tax benefit in that tax year, which is legal, but then to lower costs, and cow other workers into following, to fire all the veterans, then offer them jobs back, only at pay of $2/hour less. If they accepted, the company would than take advantage of the tax credit again, in the same tax year, in effect double-dipping on the tax benefit. The net effect would be that there would be no new veterans hired, the company would take two times the tax benefit they would be entitled to. A major part of the plan was to strike fear into the hearts of non-veteran workers--since once they saw that the veterans were being treated so badly, that fear would take over and the rest would fall into line as the company would then cut everybody's pay by $2/hour. In c company wher many people are at or close to the poverty level already.

Falck USA's human resources department displayed a pre-conceived prejudice that all veterans were subject to post traumatic stress disorder. It attempted to offer crisis counseling to the veteran lodging the complaint simply for lodging the complaint. The clinical counseling center, to its credit, declined to accept any such case. Nevertheless, the parent company Falck continues an international effort to promote similar crisis counseling efforts, constituting and institutionalizing an obvious hostile workeplace for veterans.
The complaint was withdrawn, reluctantly, as the fear factor was so great that there was considerable risk that witnesses with actual proof would, under fear of losing their job, recant ample testimony supporting the claims.

During the week following the filing of the complaint, the person filing it was extensively spied on, and harassed indirectly in numerous ways, some described above. Some time later, the dispatcher in question was no longer reporting for work, and hasn't been seen at work for months, but it is not widely known whether he was fired, or suspended, or placed on medical leave. The withdrawal of the complaint, in part, only means that the company agrees to adhere to its own code of conduct, which pledges non-discrimination agains any protected class. Yet blatant discrimination continues, as it now seems likely that a corporate spy was sent to badmouth the veteran, and any partners associated with him; efforts to get veterans into the company are proceeding very slowly, and existing veterans are complaining that the company does not back up their EMTs in the inevitable misunderstandings that families and facilities have in dealing with medical transport. In the first week of the government shutdown, the dispatch operation began stepping up more hazardous assignments to the veteran, his car was hit probably by a company vehicle in the company parking lot while he was at work, and some dispatchers became noticeably more quarrelsome, as if trying to provoke an incident, which, unfortunately it did, but probably will not come out in their favor--since it's almost an instant replay of the initial incident.
This much is certain: most of the executives making decisions that create a climate of fear are still in place, and bad decisions are still being made, in the opinion of the rank and file. The company so far has not made a move to publicize to its workers worldwide that there even was a complaint, much less a decision that was at least favorable to the whistle-blower, in that the company pledged to stick to its code of conduct, and recognized in writing that it should stick to its code of conduct.


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