In July, the union representing Murray staff advised its members of specific steps in refusing to comply with possible violations of federal medical privacy laws, noting that while Murray Center management may try to impose discipline for refusing to comply with a direct order, the union would file a grievance contesting that discipline.
But now the union is filing a grievance for what they are saying was not a refusal to comply, but was not an action at all.
On the heels of another report accusing Murray management of spreading false rumors about the Murray Parents Association and the federal lawsuit the MPA has filed against the state, claims of intimidation by management are now being leveled.
According to Ed LaPorte with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the employee in question is the first such AFSCME member to be disciplined in relation for the refusal to comply since the July advisory.
However, he says she didn’t refuse the request, and the request for the resident file wasn’t even made of her, but of a nurse. The member, explained LaPorte, was simply in the same area as the nurse at the time of the alleged incident.
“Now she’s accused of insubordination,” he explained. “They’re not interested in facts, they just want to scare and intimidate.”
One thing LaPorte is sure of, the order to discipline the employee did not come from management at Murray Center, but from higher up in the Department of Human Services.
The nurse in the incident, while not an AFSCME member, has also reportedly been disciplined. LaPorte says the head of the nurses union is aware of the incident.
DHS spokeswoman Januari Smith said of the incident that the agency doesn’t comment about personnel issues, but she did say that if the request for the file was made for contract company Community Resource Alliance, the state’s position is that as a contractor, CRA is an extension of the state and therefore there would be no violations of federal medical privacy laws.