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ThedaCare in Wisconsin has sued 7 employees for quitting to work at competitor Ascension. A Wisconsin court has dismissed the temporary block preventing the employees from starting their new jobs.

7 employees who worked for ThedaCare in Appleton, Wisconsin are being sued by their former employer for turning in their resignations after accepting job offers from competitor Ascension.

ThedaCare, a hospital in Appleton, Wisconsin, asked the court for a temporary restraining order to prevent the employees from accepting jobs at Ascension Northeast Wisconsin, a competitor hospital.

Mark J. McGinnis, a judge for the Outagamie County Circuit Court, granted ThedaCare the temporary restraining order on January 20 before dismissing the order on Monday morning.


The granted order had said Ascension must either give back ThedaCare a radiology technician and a registered nurse out of the seven workers resigning, or cease the hiring of all seven workers until ThedaCare has hired replacements.

However, a ruling on Monday has given the employees the freedom to start their new jobs.

The seven did not have contracts or obligations at ThedaCare nor did Ascension recruit those workers. 

What right does any employer have to dictate if you can quit your job if there is no contract or obligation?

Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Mark McGinnis granted the request which was in effect until at least Monday. 

In the complaint, lawyers for ThedaCare wrote that Ascension had “shockingly” chosen to “poach” the employees during a stressful time for health care. More COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in the Fox Valley now than at any other time during the pandemic, according to Wisconsin Hospital Association data, and ThedaCare has canceled non-emergency surgeries to make space. 

ThedaCare-Neenah is a Level II Trauma Center, part of which means they have specialists like interventional radiologists available regularly to treat patients. Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital, a Level III Trauma Center, can provide initial support to trauma patients and is able to transfer them to ThedaCare-Neenah for more care, according to definitions from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.  

After approaching ThedaCare with the chance to match the offers they’d been given, Breister wrote that they were told “the long term expense to ThedaCare was not worth the short term cost,” and no counter-offer would be made. 

Judge McGinnis essentially told these 7 employees that they were not permitted to quit.

The government is determining a person’s employment now? He undermined the free market for workers to seek new employment.

“It is Ascension Wisconsin’s understanding that ThedaCare had an opportunity but declined to make competitive counter offers to retain its former employees,” the hospital said in a statement to a local ABC affiliate. “Given the unfortunate decision by ThedaCare to file a lawsuit to enjoin competitive labor practices, we will not be commenting further as this matter proceeds through litigation.”

Technician Kailey Young testified on Monday that she left ThedaCare for a new job at Ascension Northeast because it was a better offer.

She said her new job had “life-changing money,” and a better “work-life balance.”

Other nurses and techs told the judge the same thing.

This is an absolutely asinine thing for any employer without a contract to do to their employees. Especially when it was because of pay and work/life balance. Something that we all desire. Money that can change our lives and the ability to enjoy our lives and not work 24/7.

Suing employees because they want something better is not a good way to attract new talent or retain those who are still at your business.

Make sure you check out our updated article about the Danville accident involving lab monkeys and the pedestrian who attempted to “help” end up in the hospital.

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