Bon Secours Richmond CEO orders managers, others to take paid leave to reduce expenses

Bon Secours Richmond (Va.) Health System CEO Toni Ardabell, BSN, issued an order July 19 mandating select salaried workers at the health system take five paid days off to reduce the health system's expenses by the end of its fiscal year Aug. 31, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

A health system spokesperson said in a written statement to the Times-Dispatch Aug. 10 the order applies only to salaried management and professional personnel who accrued a large number of paid vacation days but had not used them during the first 10 and a half months of the fiscal year. The rule does not apply to employees who "have little or no accrued PTO … [or] those who have just returned from a leave of absence or those who may be getting ready to take one," the spokesperson said.

Ms. Ardabell's memorandum, obtained by the Times-Dispatch, called for "full compliance with these instructions," provided the stipulation does not affect patient care or reduce patient volume. She also wrote management should not attempt to replace employees on leave with "other workers in a way that adds incremental expense."

"Replacing a salaried employee with an hourly employee you have to pay doesn't help," Ms. Ardabell wrote. "However, if another salaried employee who is being paid anyway simply stretches to cover the work of two people for a few days, then we realize the savings."

The spokesperson said the order does not reflect any financial distress at the health system. Bon Secours is "a financially strong and fiscally sound organization with consistently high bond ratings and financial performance," she told the Times-Dispatch.

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