Hospital sues employees to stop executive pay cap

The board of California's El Camino Hospital has filed a lawsuit in opposition of Measure M, which will cap hospital executive pay at twice that of the governor's salary, the Mountain View Voice reported.

The lawsuit targets two mid-level hospital employees who were co-sponsors of the initiative, as well as the hospital's interim chief human resources officer. El Camino hopes to stall the HR executive from applying the passed measure that cuts the pay of six administrators, according to View Voice.

In the suit, the hospital maintains the measure is an abuse of the initiative process, which can neither enforce restrictions on a healthcare district, nor interfere in the internal affairs of El Camino Hospital Corporation, a separate entity.

The measure also prevents the nonprofit hospital from attracting and retaining top talent in today's competitive healthcare environment, the board said in a November statement on the passage of Measure M.

Under the pay cap, El Camino CEO Tomi Ryba would see her annual salary drop by half to $347,974. But until the outcome of the lawsuit, El Camino's executives will retain current pay levels, according to the hospital's board.

In addition to the lawsuit, El Camino has spent nearly $149,000 to defeat Measure M, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

The lawsuit comes at a time when hospital executive pay is under heavy scrutiny, especially as nonprofit hospitals and health systems continue to dole out seven-figure compensation packages to their chief executives.

For more:
- read the Mountain View Voice article
- here's the board's statement