Compass Group announces layoffs in Hickory hospital

A division of Charlotte-based Compass Group North America has notified state officials of upcoming layoffs at a Hickory hospital following its loss of a food service contract at the facility.

The division, Atlanta-based Morrison Healthcare, which lost its contract at Frye Regional Medical Center, did not provide a number of layoffs in its notice to the state commerce department last week.

Under federal law, one reason employers must file Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications, or WARN notices, is if the shutdown of a unit at a job site will result in 50 or more employees losing their jobs.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said in an email to the Observer that most of the eligible former Morrison Healthcare employees will be employed by the new food service vendor, which she did not name. The spokeswoman did not provide a specific number of former Morrison employees who will be employed by the new vendor.

A spokesman for Morrison Healthcare said he was not aware of how many employees might be affected by potential layoffs under the new vendor. In its WARN notice, Morrison says the employees will be terminated when it ends food service operations at the hospital in February.

The WARN notice did not list a reason why the company lost the contract, but the Frye spokeswoman said in her email that the hospital periodically reviews its contracts.

“From time to time, Frye Regional Medical Center evaluates its contracts, and in this case specifically, the contract with our food service provider. Recently, Frye elected to move forward with another food service vendor,” she wrote.

Compass Group North America is part of England-based Compass Group PLC.