A labor union representing caregivers at Missouri’s Veterans Homes claims the health of veterans is being put at risk by what the union considers a bad policy. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) alleges the administration of the state’s seven homes forces the caregivers to go about their tasks – even when the employees are sick with contagious illnesses.
“Veterans who are in Missouri’s Veterans Homes are at risk because the administration is forcing staff who are ill to come into work, even if the staff have contagious diseases and are under a doctor’s care,” said AFSCME’s Joe Lawrence in an interview with the Missourinet. “This pattern of conduct is statewide, at all seven homes, and at places that help veterans at risk.”
Lawrence says this policy hurts veterans.
“This conduct by the state works against the interests of the veterans,” said Lawrence.
Lawrence says caregivers are threatened with job loss if they fail to show up for work – even if they are ill – and he wants the Missouri Veterans Commission to address this concern.
“What the Missouri Veterans Commission needs to do is to update the Veterans Commission policy dealing with sick workers, particularly those who have communicable diseases or are under a doctor’s care,” said Lawrence. “Stop punishing these workers for not coming in sick and exposing the veterans they care for to communicable diseases.”
The Veterans Commission has agreed to look into AFSCME’s concerns.