blackmail by hospital

  1. Hello, everyone, I'm new to this forum but I'm hoping someone can help me. I've been working in ER for about a year and have been unhappy with it for several months. One of the reasons I went staff was because we have self scheduling and therefore a lot of freedom. For the past 2 months, my manager has been changing our schedules after we completed them to fill holes in the ER at our other campus. This current schedule has me working 5 12's and overtime after she plugged me in to cover a hole . I told her I did not want overtime or 5 12's. I know some nurses schedule that, but I dont. 3 12's is my limit and I get fairly loopy on my 3rd one. Basically was told "too bad". She has also taken away our float nurse and we are already overburdened with going into winter. To make a long story short, I decided to either quit or go back prn. I also work prn in another dept. in the same hospital and was going to increase my hours there. (I work 2 12's in ER and 1 12 in other dept.) Icing on the cake was that I found out I was scheduled 7a-7p Dec 24 and Dec. 25 in ER. We're supposed to work 8's-one day and a eve. So I gave my notice. Then receive a call from ER mgr saying she was not going to allow me to transfer to other dept unless I fullfill my holiday obligation. I fill I have given adequate notice ( until 12/14) and should not have to do this. ER mgr says do this or I want your resignation from the hospital. Did I mention I just had my merit and received excellent rating? She even told me she hated to lose such a good employee. I called VP of nursing who said she was backing up ER mgr and Ihad to work Holiday shift or I would have to resign from hosp. and would not be eligible for rehire. I explained to her this was not about holidays and told her what was going on. She is having a meeting today with ER mgr and will callme. Also, asked me not to resign yet as I was such a valuable employee! So here I sit waiting. I feel I'm going to have to leave hospital regardless of outcome b/c I will have to constantly be having to watch my back now. I just don't want this black mark on my record. I feel I did nothing wrong. i have given adequate notice and should be able to move on with a good reference. I even thought of going to our CEO with this and sign a formal grievance. This just seems like blackmail to me! I'm sorry this is so long. I just want all the facts out there. I would really appreciate any input. No one understands this quite like other nurses. Thanks, poppyrn
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  2. 42 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    You are a trained and experienced ER nurse and can get a job ANYWHERE you want.

    I assume from you post that you don't have a union. An initial consult with a labor attorney will run in the neighborhood of $50. Call your local BAR association for a referral.

    Remember the motto:
    Last edit by sjoe on Nov 21, '02
  4. by   Gomer
    1. Check your employee handbood or HR policies/procedure manual. Anything in either about giving notice? Or how much notice one needs to give? Also check if there is a transfer policy/procedure and if there is, how do you request a transfer and how long is the wait between transfering from dept. to dept (in other words, cover you a** with their own p/p's)

    2. Most likely (unless you are in MT or AZ, and maybe others) you are an "Employment-At-Will" state. Means you can quit or be fired without notice.

    3. Ask for a meeting with your manager/DON/HR. Remind them that you (a) followed their own p/p's (assuming you did), (b) they have no grounds to mark you a "no-rehire" and if they do so your attorney has assured you they will have to prove it in court, & (c) if you are in an area with other hospitals, start looking elsewhere. These people sound nasty.
  5. by   llg
    I certainly agree that you should look at your employer's policies about transfering to another department. Transfering is not the same thing as "giving notice" that you are resigning.

    At many hospitals (all that I have worked at, in fact) transfer dates are negotiated between the managers of the two units involved. It's not the employee's choice alone. Knowing that covering the "holes" left by the employee transfering out of a unit may be hard to fill during the holidays, many units receiving a transfer will allow the other unit to "keep" that employee until after the holidays. Such customs minimize the disruption of unit staffing difficulties over the holidays and make it easier for the rest of the staff. The receiving unit doesn't really want an "orientee" on Christmas and that person's old unit might really need her.

    I'm surprised that the manager of the unit you are transferring to didn't tell you about that when you talked with her about going full time with her unit.

    Check what you employee handbook says, transfer policies, etc. That's where you need to start.

    llg
  6. by   Youda
    This is just a type of harrassment. Someday, maybe we'll get these mandatory OT laws enacted! In the meantime, I would make it perfectly clear that the reason is not holidays, but that it is an issue of patient safety, since you know you are not physically able to work those kinds of hours. And don't back down, even if it means that you need to put in your notice. Staffing isn't your problem, and your management needs to understand that they aren't going to make their staff problem into a safety issue for you.

    "Not eligible for rehire" is a relative thing. It's a lovely threat to force you to do what you can't do, but if they're really needing staff, you'll get rehired anyway.

    I keep staying this, but I'll say it again. Management can always find staff if they want to bad enough. I come from a medical family. We PLAN to celebrate the holidays on a day other than the traditional day; because we all make ourselves available for those big bribes we get to come into work on a holiday. It usually runs about double-time-and-a-half with and additional $100 to $250 bonus for showing up. Staff if available, even for a holiday.

    Losing a job isn't fun. But, it's better than the alternative.
  7. by   dawngloves
    You must work with me because I am going through a similar situation and am looking to leave ASAP! My manager makes up "rules" to benefit her and administration backs her up. Well, there are too many jobs out there for me to be treated like a Dickensian maid and I'll find a place that has more respect for me and values me more!
    I say walk! Tell them your last day is December 23rd!
  8. by   BadBird
    Reading your post just affirms that agency is the way to go. Good luck.
  9. by   zudy
    Poppy, blackmail is the perfect word for it. Vote with your feet. and don't forget sjoe's motto.
  10. by   stressedlpn
    I went through almost the same situation, only they would punish me by taking away hours if for some reason I refused to kill myself for them, Guess what I did, I QUIT anyway, I had to totally resign from the hospital even though I wanted to stay on prn in one dept, I finally relized that it just wasnt worth all the hassel and went to agency, Last night was my last night to work at my old job, I sang and did a little dance on my out, the look on my mangers face was priceless
  11. by   kidzrn2002
    I have had the same problem you had with so-called self-scheduling. Self-scheduling is a joke....management will plug u in where they need u.....Well I solved my problem by going part-time ( 2 days a week) and working agency. In the near future I am going per-diem and work more for my agency to have better control over my life.......AGENCY---THE WAY TO GO!
  12. by   Nurse Ratched
    Amazing. When I started working the unit I am on now, I was told by coworkers that OT was "expected." I told them that I was happy to do my 40, but that work was not my life. It is management's job to recruit sufficient workers, not burn out their existing staff. Repeated "no's" finally got the message through. It's a VERY rare day that a supervisor doesn't ask if I want to work over, but I stick to my guns and almost never do. Might not make me popular, but I'm a refreshed, accurate, and competent nurse when I put in a human schedule.
  13. by   fab4fan
    Five 12's????? I would be dead on my feet...I work three 12's a week and that is my limit.

    I agree with the others...vote with your feet. Anything has to be better than being run into the ground by a hospital that does not appreciate you.
  14. by   fab4fan
    And how fast would admin. back you up if you came to work so tired that you made a serious mistake...nooooooo, they would say that it was your responsibility to not come to work if you were too tired to function (then, of course, you would get dinged for calling off...damned if you do, damned if you don't).

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