Mid-South nurses forced to return bonuses received during pandemic

Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 6:41 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two years ago, while Memphis area hospitals were at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a long-time nurse with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) said it was a no-brainer to sign a commitment bonus to continue fighting on the frontlines.

Some requirements to the MLH Commitment Bonuses include:

  • Remaining in the same employment status for two years
  • Remaining in an eligible bedside, 24-7, on-call position
  • Contract nurses must work 500 hours
  • Part-time nurses must work 900 hours
  • Full-time nurses must work 1,664 hours

To this nurse’s surprise, on October 9, she said she received a letter telling her she needed to pay back the commitment bonus, as did many other nurses who signed the two-year commitment.

(Action News 5)

The nurse said she’s never called off in the past two years, except PTO, and worked overtime.

Now she said she’s being ordered to repay $14,070, minus taxes and withholding.

With no recourse, she said this is a poor way to treat healthcare heroes who serve the sick.

In a statement, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare wrote:

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare officials say nurses can pay back bonuses through checks or money orders or make arrangements to take it from their paychecks.

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