Cleveland Lawyer for Nurses and Doctors in Employment Cases

Between the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals of Cleveland, MetroHealth Medical Center, and countless physician practices, nursing homes, and biotechnology companies, there are thousands of medical professionals in the Cleveland area. Like many other employees, healthcare workers face a wide range of medical contract, discrimination, harassment, and other employment law issues in the workplace.

Physician Employment Contract Attorney in Ohio

Employment lawyer representing doctors

Doctors, hospital administrators, and other high-level employees typically have questions about the employment contracts they are required to sign. Employment contracts for medical professionals can cover a variety of topics, and may have special provisions regarding the healthcare field. If you need help understanding or negotiating your contract, call a medical contract attorney at Bolek Besser Glesius.

Employment contracts for doctors and other medical professionals protect employees. But they also frequently impose significant obligations and restrictions on the employee, both during and after employment. For example, a physician employment contract might restrict a doctor’s ability to work for another employer once his or her employment ends, known as a non-competition agreement. If you are a doctor or hospital employee who has been offered an employment contract, you should have it reviewed by a knowledgeable physician employment contract attorney so that you understand your rights and obligations.

Sexual harassment lawyers for Ohio nurses and hospital workers

One of the more common employment law issues arising in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other healthcare workplaces is sexual harassment. Nurses, STNAs, office staff, and even doctors might face sexual harassment in a hospital or medical workplace. If you work in the healthcare field and have been subjected to sexual harassment, you need to contact a sexual harassment attorney right away to protect yourself and other potential victims.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is illegal under both federal and Ohio law. Generally, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome comments or conduct of a sexual nature. When accepting the offensive conduct is made a condition of continued employment, or when the conduct becomes so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment, it is illegal. If severe enough, even an isolated incident might give rise to a sexual harassment claim.

In the hospital setting, a harasser might be the victim’s boss, a doctor, a co-worker, a supervisor or management employee from another area of the hospital, or even a patient.

Bolek Besser Glesius has represented many employees who fought back against sexual harassment in the medical field. To learn more about how to handle being sexually harassed, read our free workplace sexual harassment resource guide.

Ohio medical employment attorney for nurses with lifting restrictions

Lawyer for nurses in Ohio

Another common employment issue in the medical workplace involves lifting restrictions for employees with disabilities or pregnant employees.

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Ohio’s disability discrimination law require employers to make reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities of employees. A reasonable accommodation is some alteration of a job duty or workplace policy made to help an employee with a disability perform the job duties. In the hospital setting, this issue sometimes arises when a nurse or other patient-care employee needs a lifting restriction for a disability but the employer has a blanket “no light duty policy.” In these situations, the employee might have a discrimination claim under Ohio or federal law. Ultimately, whether an employee with a disability will be entitled to a lifting restriction as a reasonable accommodation depends on the particular facts of the employee’s job and disability.

The pregnancy discrimination laws might also entitle a medical professional to a lifting restriction or other light duty at work. Under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, passed in 2022, employers with 15 or more employees must grant reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees under most circumstances. For smaller employers, Ohio’s pregnancy discrimination laws might require such an accommodation if it would normally grant one to a non-pregnant temporarily disabled employee. For example, if the employer grants a lifting restriction to an employee after back surgery, it would likely have to permit a similar lifting restriction for a pregnant employee who needs one.

If you have a disability or are pregnant and have a lifting restriction, but are being refused light duty, the only way to know if your rights have been violated is to speak with an ADA lawyer who handles workplace disability and pregnancy discrimination.

Medical leave attorney for employees

The use of medical leave is another situation in which Ohio healthcare workers frequently need protection. When the need for medical leave arises, there are several laws that may protect healthcare workers.

A request for medical leave can be a reasonable accommodation under the disability discrimination laws. When an employee with a disability requests medical leave, the employer must grant the request unless it the leave would pose an undue hardship to the employer. Even then, the employer must consider whether there are other accommodations that would permit the employee to keep working.

A pregnant employee who needs leave due to pregnancy or childbirth may also be entitled to leave as an accommodation under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. On the other hand, the PWFA prohibits employer from forcing pregnant employees to take maternity leave if there is another reasonable accommodation available that would allow them to do their jobs.

Besides the disability discrimination and pregnancy discrimination laws, there is an additional protection under federal law for employees who need medical leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or “FMLA,” entitles certain employees to job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks over a given 12 month period. Eligible employees can take FMLA leave for their own serious health condition, to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, or for pregnancy and childbirth, among other things. FMLA maternity leave needed as a result of childbirth can be taken for up to a year after the child is born, and can be taken by either the mother or father. Unfortunately, however, the FMLA does not protect many part-time employees, employees of small employers, and employees who have been employed at their current job for less than a year.

Whether an Ohio employee in a hospital or healthcare setting is entitled to leave under these employment laws can be a tricky question. To determine what legal protections you have, you should contact an experienced Cleveland physician contract attorney.

Lawyers protecting healthcare whistleblowers

Hospital whistleblower attorney

Sometimes, healthcare employees discover Medicare fraud, insurance fraud, patient abuse, workplace safety issues, or other illegal behavior at work. And sometimes employees who have the courage to report illegal conduct in the hospital or healthcare workplace face retaliation in the form of harassment, demotion, pay cuts, or even termination.

Several Ohio and federal laws protect employees who report illegal behavior in the medical field. One fairly new protection for hospital whistleblowers is under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That law protects employees from retaliation for complaining about or reporting certain illegal health insurance company practices such as denying coverage due to a pre-existing condition.

Medical professionals who have the courage to speak out when their employer breaks the law deserve both praise and protection. If you have been retaliated against for reporting Medicare fraud or other illegal conduct in the healthcare workplace, you should contact an employee rights attorney right away to protect yourself.

Ohio healthcare employment and medical contract attorney

These are just a few of the issues that may arise for employees in Ohio healthcare workplaces. At Bolek Besser Glesius LLC, we have extensive experience representing employees in the medical field. We understand the unique pressures and obligations that come with working in medical field and we’re here to help.

If you are a medical professional facing an employment law issue, talk to an experience physician contract attorney at Bolek Besser Glesius for a free consultation.