Rite Aid has just validated what I have been saying all along

This past week a nationally high profile Pharmacist ( http://www.drugmonkey.blogspot.com ) that worked for Rite Aid in California was FIRED  because he make the following statement on his blog concerning the authorized union strike against Rite Aid in California and a comment on his blog about a person who claimed that he/she would break the picket line and work for Rite Aid during the strike.

I was told the line about  “kicking a scab’s ass past their incisors”  violated company policy regarding workplace violence.

I have said over and over again that the section of most companies’ policy and procedures (P&P) regarding a hostile work environment is quite vague and broad. AND this policy applies to both EMPLOYER and EMPLOYEE and CUSTOMERS – unless otherwise plainly stated in the P&P.

When one begins to think about the number of things that Rx dept staff has to put up with from non-pharmacists management and customers.. I believe that the list can become quite long.

IMO.. Rite Aid is not the exception to the rule.. in how a company’s P&P is used to “thin the ranks”… this time.. they have picked on a Pharmacist that has a high profile on a national level and a well read platform/blog.  He was not some lowly RPH  that will walk away with his/her head hung.. thinking that they did something wrong.. when the fact is that our system has evolved to a point where it is virtually impossible to do our jobs safely.

Errors have become so common place, that when they happen… they barely – if at all – register on our OMG scale.

How could this all shake out?

If the Union’s prevails with the strike… unions may be seen by those in pharmacy in a much different light and maybe able to parlay this “victory” to make inroads into pharmacy. This may also force Rite Aid to stand up to the PBM industry over reimbursements…

If the union and its members in California … cave and give away many/most of their benefits… it will be a “go signal” to the rest of corporate pharmacy to follow a similar path. – god help us!

The larger lesson here is what many of us have been saying for a long time… document.. document… know your P&P

For starters… generally the two most important portions are the two that deal with hostile work environment and that an employee will not break and rules/regulations/laws… Don’t keep your documentations to yourself… send emails of concern/complaints to HR/CCO/Legal as well as management… if appropriate .. cc the BOP…

Let’s hope that the drug monkey’s  union stands up for him.

One Response

  1. Steve, I too am curious to see what the union reaction to this firing will be. I think the idea of a broader pharmacy union to protect pharmacy employees is gaining appeal. Here is a real test for a union to help a former employee. Will this CA union be able to help a pharmacist who has been fired for a blog entry? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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