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Do people who resign get severance packages?

The Globe reports on Paul Levy's $1.6-million severance from Beth Israel Deaconess.

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Levi shouldn't get paid $1,600,000 for resigning.

I hope Coakley investigates this stunning and outrageous transaction.

Beth Israel gets an enormous financial benefit from its non-profit status. The money could help pay for health care and/or research that benefits the public.

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I'm not paying $116 a month for this (expletive) to get a golden parachute.

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where do you get that figure from?

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That's my monthly state-mandated health insurance premium.

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There really ought to be a lot more guidelines for what a place is and isn't allowed to do in order to be a nonprofit and to take Medicaid or other government funding.

Like, severance packages. They shouldn't be allowed at all for places that are in either category. They're unheard of at normal nonprofits, like community services agencies, community clinics, etc. If you're lucky you MIGHT be allowed to cash out your few weeks of saved-up vacation days if you leave on good terms.

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The IRS has strict rules on compensation / severance that you can give to an executive in a non-profit.

Compensation, and sometimes severance, for charities' top employees are public record.

See http://www.charities.ago.state.ma.us/

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but they're so limited in scope. What I meant was that there should be laws/Medicaid regs that limit things like severance packages and ridiculously high salaries so that any agency taking Medicaid and operating as a nonprofit must operate like the community agencies that are scraping by.

It isn't right that there's one program funded by healthcare money and taking nonprofit tax breaks where someone gets more money than I'll make in my lifetime handed to him for quitting his job, while other programs funded by this same healthcare money and same tax breaks have aides making $10 per hour spending their own money on crayons because the program can't afford to order any more.

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1. These laws aren't limited in scope - if a non-profit pays more than market value, severance or otherwise, then it loses its non-profit status.

2. In that light - BIDMC is a billion-dollar enterprise. Non-profit or not, if you want someone competent to run a billion-dollar outfit, you're going to need to provide a serious comp package, including a serious severance plan.

(Whether Levy was competent or not, I'll withhold judgment - that's for the Board of Trustees and the AG to determine, not me.)

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I've worked for two employers that are in the same range in terms of number of employees as BIDMC, both of which were always headed by people who had worked their way up starting in direct care, then going to school and working higher and higher management positions until they were in top-tier management. Both won't consider executives who don't have considerable experience working in the field in non-management positions and who aren't internal applicants. I've also worked in places where executives come in from elsewhere and/or haven't ever done the type of work they're overseeing, and I'm much happier with the working-your-way-up type of management -- this feels to me to be a nonprofit model -- versus the corporate-type model.

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How does one go about becoming a member of one of those outfits, anyway? Whether corporate or nonprofit, sometimes it seems as though these boards are living on a different planet than the rest of us. Do they ever stop by to check up on how everything's really going? Talk to employees besides the CEO? Talk to clients/patients/customers?

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At most of the nonprofits where I've worked, the board is required to include people with disabilities who receive care from the agency, families members of clients, minimum-wage type employees of the agency, community members, etc.

At the corporate-type nonprofits, the board is a bunch of important people, and AFAIK, they don't do a whole lot of the connecting with the community stuff. It's hard to even find e-mail addresses for them when advocacy groups try to initiate dialogue about serving various disempowered groups in the community.

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It's the Ivy League / CEO circle jerk.

Biggest scam in the history of capitalism. They're all dorm buddies from back in the day, and they shake each others hands while fleecing the public and the companies shareholders.

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Severance packages shouldn't be allowed at all for employees of non-profits? Oh please. That's really nice for all the people making 20-30k a year working for universities and hospitals. I know some people don't mind getting shitty benefits because they know they're "doing good" or whatever, but those people aren't going to staff the entire sector. Go get em, Robin Hood!

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And such a thing has never occurred to me to ask for. I went into this work thinking I'd be able to make a decent living, not thinking I'd get benefits that include money for not working (especially for QUITTING). I've quit jobs and didn't expect anything, and I've been laid off and expected nothing but the state unemployment that I collected until I got another job. If I were in it for money, I would stop working for nonprofits and accept only private pay folks. We choose to work at places that are funded by underfunded systems; it isn't right that one person in this system should get millions of dollars for quitting while it wouldn't occur to anyone else that severance is something that exists in the nonprofit healthcare world.

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He had me fooled up until just about just until now.

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Don't think that this is limited to Levy. It isn't. How much y'all love to hate on him is utterly irrelevant - if he had a contract for it, he is likely 100% legally entitled to it and that is the final word on the matter. The Attorney General can get on her Treasured Special Soapbox and bray about it all she wants to - if she even wants to - but it won't make any difference.

Whining about Levy's severance and demanding individual accountability for corporate boilerplate clauses is something known as "treating a symptom". The disease is that all or nearly all CEOs and their ilk have these nutsy contracts that pour money into their bank accounts even for rank fail, even for leaving, even for being fired. No amount of outraged citizen whining directed at Levy and no amount of Special Attention by Grandstanding VoteForMe Chesthumping pols is going to change that. Perhaps some collective action and legislation to limit the stupidity of corporations will.

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that everybody also likes to bitch about.
Like you say, a contract is a contract, once it's been signed. Whether it should have been agreed to in the first place is a separate issue.

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if he resigns but I could be wrong.

I'm on board for the collective action you speak about to effect a change in the standard mo.

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Paul Levy, the Dukakis appointee who basked in the imported leather furnishings, marble ashtrays and other trappings of the early MWRA, also abruptly resigned from there, too. I can't help but wonder if he was touching everything but the third rail in '91, also.

Boston Globe, 09-20-91: "The unexpected news that MWRA chief Paul Levy plans to leave his post washed through the environmental and political communities yesterday, setting off speculation on who might be qualified to take over the sensitive agency in the midst of the massive Boston Harbor cleanup..."

As for a contract guaranteeing the windfall, shouldn't there be a morals clause that bars huge severance deals if a sex scandal that disgraces the hospital is the cause for separation?

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Just another Ivy Grad fleecing the public's coffers.

That's business 101. Cut cost margins as much as possible, steal from shareholders, and leave with your golden parachute.

Step 1: Ivy league degree
Step 2: Skim revenue from shareholder and the public into private bank account for as long as possible
Step 2: Profit, and leave before it blows up in next guys face

Option step: Trade sex with some unqualified 20 year old for a 100K/yr job.

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I haven't seen any allegation that the young lady was unqualified for the work she was doing. (Which is why I don't consider Levy's offense all that serious.)

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wasn't in hiring a qualified or unqualified person, it was hiring an arguably qualified person for a position which 1) reports directly to him while 2) having a personal relationship with him that goes beyond professional and thus 3) creating a potentially hostile but certainly dysfunctional work environment for senior managers.

It also 4) undermines his authority as leader since he put personal interests above professional and 5) reveals a significant character flaw in that he chose the relationship over fidelity in his marriage commitment.

That's the old news.

The new news is that they paid him $1,600,000 for quitting, which is an outrage for a non-profit in these times.

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And if you are going to be that snarky, at least get your facts straight. Levy's degrees are from MIT which is not an Ivy League school.

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I left a position at an HHMI lab to pursue graduate school in 2000. They gave me a very nice severance package for my 2 years there.

Of course, my boss passed away about 6 months before that and the rest of my lab was being rolled into another lab at about the same time I had to leave so my position was technically also "disappearing"...so they could give me severance for the disappearance of my position.

Somehow, I doubt "CEO of the Hospital" is a position that's going to be disappearing once Levy leaves.

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