Local attorneys break down ThedaCare lawsuit

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:51 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - As the ThedaCare temporary injunction against Ascension Wisconsin makes national headlines, two local Wisconsin attorneys reacted to the lawsuit and broke down why the order was dismissed.

ThedaCare filed a temporary restraining order as a legal attempt to keep seven of its former employees from starting their new jobs at St. Elizabeth Hospital last Friday. ThedaCare claimed it would lack the staff to cover its stroke care department and wanted a 90-day partnership with Ascension Wisconsin while seeking replacements.

“It is highly unusual, but it’s not unprecedented. But it is equally unsuccessful,” said Gregory B. Gill, an Employment Attorney with Gill & Gill S.C.

Gill and Nick Fairweather, an Employment Attorney for Hawks Quindel, both said the Employment At-Will law came into play during the court battle Monday.

“They (employees) can leave a job for no reason. They don’t have to provide a reason and an employer can terminate employment for no reason (as long as it’s legal),” said Fairweather.

Gill and Fairweather tell Action 2 News the employees in question were at-will workers, so they did not have non-compete clauses.

“If this is such a critical problem, I question why there wasn’t a plan-B in effect--whether a non-compete agreement or enough employees to backfill to prevent the alleged problem,” said Gill.

The judge ended up dismissing the temporary injunction Monday. However, the lawsuit is still ongoing.

ThedaCare claims Ascension Wisconsin “poached” its employees, and is entitled to money. Gill said he doesn’t believe that allegation will win in court.

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