Recently a Long-Term care home in Ontario was advised by an arbitrator that one staff member who was alleged to be involved in an abuse allegation may return to work.
Other employees at the core of this heartbreaking story are also attempting to secure their former positions. Check out the Sun News Network article, Fired Peterborough nursing home worker wins job back after hidden camera scandal, from January 31 2014.
The legislation around abuse in Long-Term Care homes is pretty clear.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is unwavering that there is zero tolerance for abuse and neglect. Legislation outlines a series of regulations a home must comply with to demonstrate due diligence when a complaint of abuse has occurred. This is to protect the public.
The Long-Term Care Homes are also mandated to create policies, procedures, and interventions relating to suspected abuse and neglect. To be in compliance with regulations there has to be evidence that education and training exists, so as to empower staff to recognize and report abuse. In teaching staff about this topic, there is clear messaging that individuals who witness abuse and do not report it are equally accountable for their actions.
I am certain that all hired Long-Term Care employees, have agreed to abide by the policies and procedures of the employer as a condition of employment. It is no surprise that automatic termination for suspected abuse or neglect is the standard across the sector.
The burning question remains...
If any home conducts an abuse investigation and in good faith determines that termination of an employee(s) is in the best interest of their Residents: where is it written that the outcomes of their review and the Resident’s Bill of Rights are no longer part of the equation?