California hospital to lay off 37 employees amid closure plans: 5 things to know

Community Medical Center Long Beach (Calif.), which is slated to close by the beginning of July, will lay off 37 employees, or about 10 percent of the organization's workforce, according to a statement from hospital CEO John Bishop.

Here are five things to know.

1. Mr. Bishop said affected employees are being notified pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires employers provide at least 60 days advance notice when there are business closures and a certain number of layoffs. The layoffs affect 17 full-time employees, as well as part-time or per diem "call-ins."

2. Mr. Bishop said the hospital also notified city and local officials of the layoffs, along with their state and local governments. The city owns the hospital land and the facility.

3. CMC is currently working to end its operations because it sits on an active fault line and cannot feasibly meet the state's earthquake safety requirements that take effect June 30, 2019. The hospital's operator, Fountain Valley, Calif.-based MemorialCare is slated to end its lease around the beginning of July, and CMC's emergency department has stopped accepting advanced life support patients. The hospital typically averaged about six advanced life support patients each day. The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services system is now diverting these patients to nearby hospitals.

4. In the meantime, MemorialCare guaranteed 114 CMC employees, including 72 registered nurses, jobs within the health system, according to Mr. Bishop.

"The hospital is also offering substantial outplacement services, such as job fairs, preferential interviews within the health system, career support workshops, one-on-one counseling assistance, etc., in addition to offering generous retention bonus plans, which were announced on Nov. 6, 2017, when Community Medical Center announced it would be closing," Mr. Bishop said. 

5. Efforts to try to preserve services at the hospital also continue. Earlier in March, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors backed a bill to give CMC more time to meet the state's earthquake safety standards. City of Long Beach officials and Community Hospital Long Beach Foundation's leaders have also been in discussions about trying to keep services at the hospital, according to a Press-Telegram report. Mr. Bishop said he is willing to collaborate with city officials to determine the best future use for the hospital land and facility.


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