Ex-Jersey City Medical Center workers speak out about ‘unprofessional’ layoffs

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The Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health laid off over 100 employees on March 1, according to three former workers who exclusively spoke to Hudson County View about the “unprofessional” nature of their departures.

Jersey City Medical Center. Photo via panoramio.com
Jersey City Medical Center. Photo via panoramio.com

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

All three sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, agreed that the prominent Grand Street hospital laid off over 100 employees on March 1 with little or no warning from management.

“A lot of people, on my end, knew this was happening, but I think it was handled very poorly,” said one ex-employee who was hired a couple years ago.

This source was particularly miffed by the fact that the JCMC cut the entire Wealth from Health program, also known as the population health team – which consisted of about a dozen employees.

“If you laid off the entire population health team, what else is going to happen? They didn’t send out a list of who was laid off … and also, severance pay was due today and human resources phones are disconnected.”

According to the hospital’s website, the Wealth from Health program is the “Center’s innovative, reward program for our employees and patients,” where employees help members lower their healthcare costs, receive discounts and earn reward points by making healthy choices.

Another source pointed out that the hospital cut their diversity and inclusion program.

Also on their website, the JCMC declared that “we recognize that diversity and inclusion are essential for the health of our patients, employees, and surrounding community,” also boasting about their status as a LGBTQ Health Equality Leader.

A third source was particularly angered by the way management handled the situation, claiming some higher ups found the predicament comedic.

“The whole thing was very disorganized, there were rumors that it was going to happen – administrators joked that there was a list out,” the source, a recent hire, said.

“We were called into an office one by one and simply told ‘we no longer have the funds to support your position.’”

JCMC spokeswoman Sharon Ambis said that it was “absolutely inaccurate” to say that over 100 layoffs occurred, but would not provide any additional information beyond a prepared statement.

“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce. At this time, we are reorganizing and reassigning some of our staff. Numerous reduction shave already been achieved through attrition,” the statement said in part.

“We are working with affected colleagues to apply for other opportunities at Jersey City Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Health facilities. Many employees have already accepted positions. We will continue to focus on the future and constantly improve our delivery of services to the community.”