Denver Health asks hospital staff to use paid time off, take leave without pay due to COVID-19

The hospital stresses the options are voluntary, not mandated.

Denver Health on Bannock in Lincoln Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver Health on Bannock in Lincoln Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Denver Health is asking hospital staff to consider using paid time off, reduce hours or take leave without pay as the hospital braces for the financial fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to an email obtained by Denverite.

Denver Health spokesperson April Valdez on Tuesday verified the email written by Denver Health CEO Robin D. Wittenstein was sent to employees last week. Valdez stressed nothing is mandated at this point — compliance is voluntary.

“My goal is to keep the negative impact on our current workforce as small as possible,” Wittenstein writes in the email, adding she wants the hospital to come through the crisis with the ability to continue its mission.

Wittenstein writes that “employees in areas that have seen a decrease in the need for their services, or who are unable to fulfill their normal job duties due to the situation,” should consider using PTO, reducing hours or taking leave without pay. It doesn’t specify certain positions or jobs.

Wittenstein said the hospital is considering mandating at least one option for all employees and characterized them as “extreme measures” she hopes to avoid.

The hospital is also implementing a hiring freeze.

We’ve reached out to Denver Health and Wittenstein for additional comments.

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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