Recently quit due to stress - I have some questions

  1. First off I'd like to say hello! I'm a newbie to the nursing community, working as a CNA ans working on my associate's in mortuary science!

    I apologize for the rambling mess this post is, it's been a lot to unpack. Also for any typos, I'm typing on a phone.

    I recently quit my job as a CNA in a LTC facility due to stress and other factors (management, workplace drama, being short-staffed every day, being screamed at by nurses for every little thing my shift couldn't get done, unsafe work conditions for both the residents and myself, etc) making the place take a toll on my mental health. I am already a naturally incredibly anxious person, and the stress there has actually caused me to begin self-harming in my sleep as a way to cope.

    Yesterday I talked to the scheduler, administrator and director of nursing and let them know that while I would finish out the shift I was scheduled for, I would not be returning afterwards. I am working in an at-will state - Kansas - and I know I'm not required to give two weeks notice.

    However, the scheduler attempted to guilt me into staying by insisting if I left without giving two weeks or more, they would "get me for neglect." She has a history of lying to people, and as I said I know my employment is at will. I am just wondering if there is any truth in what she told me? I finished out my scheduled shift and absolutely did not abandon any residents. I was meant to work this weekend, but I've already told them I need to leave immediately for the sake of my mental and physical health. They're trying to guilt me into coming in anyways, when I already know it will be just me and one other aide for 50 residents, all of whom are 2x assist.

    I would also like to note to show how little they care, they lied to me about giving me a bonus after 3 months of working there, and also will not be cashing out my vacation or sick days. They also did not tell us when we were working with patients that had MRSA or C-Diff (as in, actually would refuse to tell us and got angry if we refused to go into an isolation room because we didn't know what the patient had, nor what isolation precautions to take.)

    I don't care so much about the bonus pay, I just can't work there anymore, especially in those conditions. I already have interviews lined up and references, so I don't need anyone working there to vouch for me.

    Am I in the wrong in any way in this situation? And has anyone else had an experience like this?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   JKL33
    For simplicity's sake I will assume you have upheld your end of the deal as far as taking the best care of patients that you can, no attendance issues, etc. I would say that generally-speaking you're not wrong. It is not "patient neglect" to decline to return for one's next shift as a CNA. They hope to bully you.
  4. by   RainMom
    No, there is no neglect for not showing up to work after you gave them notice you wouldn't be back. Also, check with state law; they may be legally required to pay out accumulated vacation time.
  5. by   Lil Nel
    If I were you, I would e-mail them the definition of working in "at-will" state. Most employers I have worked for, usually outline the definition in the employee handbook, so perhaps you could tell them to reference their own handbook.

    As far as vacation time pay-out goes, it greatly varies from employer to employer. Again, most employers include a statement on this in the employee handbook. Some require nothing other than a two-week notice for a pay-out. My last employer required a year of employment, PLUS a four-week notice (that is a high bar).

    Good luck to you! You are right, now run, and never look back.
  6. by   amoLucia
    Quote from RainMom
    No, there is no neglect for not showing up to work after you gave them notice you wouldn't be back. Also, check with state law; they may be legally required to pay out accumulated vacation time.
    I really don't know is this is true or not.

    If you leave on short notice, they may NOT have to pay out anything they owe you. That was always something I made sure was addressed when I was leaving because I didn't want to get shorted.
  7. by   Wuzzie
    "At will" employment has nothing to do with how much notice you are required to give. That is entirely up to the facility. If they require 2 weeks notice and you didn't give them 2 weeks they can very well withhold your accumulated vacation. Vacation time is not federally or state mandated.
  8. by   RainMom
    [QUOTE=Wuzzie;9725507"Vacation time is not federally or state mandated.[/QUOTE]

    Actually, my state does require an employer pays out any accumulated vacation time. Had an employer try to get out of it after a permanent lay off for my husband. We sent a certified letter & copy of the law & had a check within a few days.
  9. by   RainMom
    Quote from amoLucia
    I really don't know is this is true or not.

    If you leave on short notice, they may NOT have to pay out anything they owe you. That was always something I made sure was addressed when I was leaving because I didn't want to get shorted.
    It's state dependent. Anytime my husband has left a job, he has had his vacation time paid, whether he left the job or the employer terminated the position.
  10. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from RainMom
    Actually, my state does require an employer pays out any accumulated vacation time. Had an employer try to get out of it after a permanent lay off for my husband. We sent a certified letter & copy of the law & had a check within a few days.
    But that's a different situation. If the facility requires two weeks and she doesn't follow that policy then they do not have to give them accrued vacation time. Employers are not required to offer vacation as a benefit.
  11. by   RainMom
    Quote from Wuzzie
    But that's a different situation. If the facility requires two weeks and she doesn't follow that policy then they do not have to give them accrued vacation time. Employers are not required to offer vacation as a benefit.
    Not as the law is written in my state. It does not matter the circumstances, vacation time is due to the employee when they leave. I'm just suggesting OP needs to check into it
  12. by   hppygr8ful
    No abandonment or neglect here. You might want to get a copy of your state's BON definition of abandonment/neglect. I once had an employer try to deny me my PTO when I left. I might add with over 3 weeks notice. I simply drafted a letter to the CEO of the parent company detailing the law in my state re: PTO/Vacation and the fact that for everyday it was unpaid I was due 2 and 1 half times the amount in question but I was willing to take the original amount if I could get it within 3 days otherwise they would hear from my attorney. I got my check by FedEx within 3 days.

    Hppy
  13. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from Wuzzie
    "At will" employment has nothing to do with how much notice you are required to give. That is entirely up to the facility. If they require 2 weeks notice and you didn't give them 2 weeks they can very well withhold your accumulated vacation. Vacation time is not federally or state mandated.
    While an employer is not mandated to offer vacation time to an employee. They cannot legally take away a benefit that is part of an employment contract. In at At Will state an employee cannot be penalized for leaving a job without two weeks notice.

    Hppy
  14. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from hppygr8ful
    While an employer is not mandated to offer vacation time to an employee. They cannot legally take away a benefit that is part of an employment contract. In at At Will state an employee cannot be penalized for leaving a job without two weeks notice.

    Hppy
    Interesting. With the exception of my current job,as it is union, I have never signed a contract of any sort when accepting a position. I simply gave a verbal acceptance and that was that. No paperwork, no witnessed signatures and no notary. As such, I don't believe that I was in a contractural agreement with my employers in the traditional sense. I WAS bound by the policies and procedures so maybe in absence of legal paperwork it functioned as a contract. Regardless every. single. one had a stipulation that if you failed to give proper notice, as listed in the policies, you forfeited your vacation time. Maybe they all were breaking the law. I don't intend to ever try to push it to find out.

    The Myth of the Two Weeks’ Notice Requirement - Employment Law Handbook

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