MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A nurse at Allina Health’s United Hospital says he was fired from his job on Friday because he wore hospital scrubs on duty.
In a Facebook post Cliff Willmeng wrote that he “was doing it so he wouldn’t bring COVID-19 back home to his family.” He claims he isn’t the only worker who has been punished for wearing hospital scrubs.
Willmeng’s post on Facebook includes a photograph that appears to show a security guard walking him to his vehicle after his firing.
Willmeng had appeared in an earlier story on WCCO when many nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic protested Allina’s uniform policy.
On Friday he wrote about his firing, saying: “I am doing okay at this time and not afraid. It would have been worse had I compromised principle and nursing practice and folded to a hospital administration devoid of concern for its front line staff while consumed with trivial demonstrations of power. I’m feeling proud and will adjust to the next period of the fight.”
Another Facebook update on Saturday morning says Willmeng’s family is doing okay, he has “lawyered up,” and is preparing “additional grievances, filing for unemployment, and organizing a campaign to get his job back and change the hospital’s policy.”
Allina Health released this statement Friday:
Allina Health’s employees are the foundation of our organization. Without them, we would not be able to serve the health care needs of our communities. It is never easy to part ways with an employee. Our preference is always that education and coaching efforts will be successful. But we cannot appropriately retain employees who willfully and repeatedly choose to violate hospital policies designed to protect our patients and staff.
Allina Health adheres to the latest guidance from the CDC and MDH in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which do not consider hospital issued scrubs as PPE. At a time when all health care systems are managing limited supplies, Allina Health has carefully weighed and adopted policies for the use and distribution of those supplies, such as scrubs for staff. Our practices are aligned with other local and national hospitals and prioritize the safety of our staff and patients, while enabling us to allocate the appropriate supplies for daily patient care and for a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Source: CBS Minnesota