Sentosa Case in NY: Study contract before you sign

  1. kababayans, please study the contract before you sign.

    i'm sharing this article, hoping that we all learn from it.



    http://www.newsday.com/news/printedi...y-linews-print

    nurses charged after walking off the job

    march 23, 2007


    ten nurses who abruptly resigned from their jobs last year at a smithtown nursing center were charged yesterday - along with an attorney who advised them - with endangering children.

    the nurses who work for avalon gardens rehabilitation and health center were accused of endangering six children ranging in age from 2 to 7 - four were on ventilators, one was on oxygen support and another was terminally ill - when they abandoned their posts april 7 at the end of their shifts, said suffolk county assistant district attorney leonard lato.

    "you cannot walk out on disabled children who have nobody to call," lato said. "whatever their dispute, they could have said they intended to walk out in 24 hours. "

    the nurses' sudden departure, he said, left the center scrambling for replacements on a friday evening. the action was spurred, their current attorney said, by complaints about pay and hours.

    all 11 were charged with sixth-degree conspiracy, five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and six counts of endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person - all misdemeanors. vinluan also was charged with fifth-degree criminal solicitation, a misdemeanor.

    all pleaded not guilty in suffolk county court in riverhead and were released. if convicted, they could face up to six years in prison and deportation.

    . . .

    the indictment says the same day the 10 nurses resigned, two nurses from split rock rehabilitation and health care center in the bronx and two nurses from bayview nursing and rehabilitation center in island park had also resigned; the day before, 10 nurses from brookhaven rehabilitation and health care center in far rockaway had resigned. all are owned by sentosa care. those nurses were not charged.

    all 11 were charged with:

    1 count of sixth-degree conspiracy;

    5 counts of endangering the welfare of a child;

    6 counts of endangering the welfare of a disabled person;
    no arguments, please.

    just an fyi.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   khirbz
    I had attended one of their orientation program. Good thing I didn't signed up for that agency...
  4. by   lawrence01
    Just want to point out that I believe that the thread starter's intention was just to warn people not to do what the nurses there did. Walking out and not giving a notice w/ an ample amount of time for the facility to replace them endangers the lives of the patients and is tantamount to the charges that were filed against them and as you noticed even the lawyer that advised them to do so was included w/ the charges.
  5. by   lawrence01
    Quote from lawrence01
    Just want to point out that I believe that the thread starter's intention was just to warn people not to do what the nurses there did. Walking out and not giving a notice w/ an ample amount of time for the facility to replace them endangers the lives of the patients and is tantamount to the charges that were filed against them and as you noticed even the lawyer that advised them to do so was included w/ the charges.
    In addition, they all now have a record that were filed against them and whether it is resolved in their favor or not that record stays and one is obliged to provide that info. every time they apply for a job. Of course, if they are convicted then they have to be deported but deportation only comes after they serve any punishment to be given.
  6. by   pinoy_guy
    Quote from lawrence01
    just want to point out that i believe that the thread starter's intention was just to warn people not to do what the nurses there did. walking out and not giving a notice w/ an ample amount of time for the facility to replace them endangers the lives of the patients and is tantamount to the charges that were filed against them and as you noticed even the lawyer that advised them to do so was included w/ the charges.

    in addition, they all now have a record that were filed against them and whether it is resolved in their favor or not that record stays and one is obliged to provide that info. every time they apply for a job. of course, if they are convicted then they have to be deported but deportation only comes after they serve any punishment to be given.
    exactly my point.

    thanks for clearing that up.

    the us justice system is blind.

    the case would not even have been accepted if there was no probable cause.

    the hammer will fall on the guilty party--be it the nurses, or sentosa.

    appealing to emotion does not work in america.

    just a reminder that some of the things we learned in school, specifically "ignorance of the law is no excuse" and "dura lex, sed lex" apply, even in america.

    especially in america.

    i hope we all learn from this case.
  7. by   pinoy_guy
    another update.

    (note philipson's statement--i think he's married to a filipina.)

    please, honor your contracts.

    the "pioneers" who broke (or found loopholes in) their contracts made it harder for other filipinos to get to the us.

    a lot of us hospitals do not petition filipino rns precisely because of this "practice."

    don't listen to the people who advise going this route.

    i would rather that we be known for our palabre de honor (word of honor) rather than being known for being untrustworthy.

    so read the contract, understand the ramifications, before signing it.

    don't follow foolish advice to sign any contract, and get out of it, once you get to the us and have your green card.

    sure, americans will fight for your right to resign from your job.

    but once they learn that you went into the contract with open eyes, and that you were planning to scam the agency from the get-go...i don't think they'll be happy with that.

    ***

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/lo...,2763041.story

    dispute over nurses' right to resign continues



    the 10 nurses who abruptly resigned from their jobs at a smithtown nursing center will be protected by federal labor law unless suffolk prosecutors can prove the walkout endangered patients, a federal labor official said friday.

    "if you walk out to protest working conditions, that kind of subject matter is a legitimate basis of protest," said al blyer, director of the national labor relations board's brooklyn region, which covers long island.

    "the burden is going to be on the employer to show that by this walkout, they really put into jeopardy the health of the patients."

    unionized workers must give 10 days' notice preceding a work stoppage, but because the nurses were non-union, they were not required to give notice under the national labor relations act.

    however, if avalon gardens rehabilitation and health center and prosecutors can prove the lives of the severely ill children who are patients there were endangered by the april 7 walkout, the workers could be vulnerable, according to bleyer.

    . . .

    "this was an attempt to get out of the contract," said bent philipson, chief operating officer of sentosacare.

    . . .

    but assistant district attorney leonard lato maintained, "the nurses put their contract dispute above the needs of the children."
  8. by   pinoy_guy
    the news articles we get in the philippines are a little...skewed.

    here is another perspective i came across.

    i noted that there was little air time for the sentosa side.

    this article was an eye-opener for me.

    apologies to the moderators for quoting liberally from this article. some people had problems accessing some websites, and some websites delete their content after a time period.

    ***

    http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2006/09/...091974869.html


    "api na nga sa sariling bayan, api pa sa new york!" (he's already down-trodden in his own country, her suffers the same fate in new york!)

    or so i thought. then i came across someone from the sentosa group and i asked for the truth behind the story.

    i was given all the papers on the case and i had to change my initial judgment on the issue after poring over them... there are really two sides to any issue, the truth and the half-truths, and this cased has them.

    i saw proof that sentosa paid for all the plane tickets of the nurses plus some-immigration fees, medical fees, insurance and malpractice fees and more-contrary to the claims by the nurses.

    [color="brown"]as a footnote, it surfaces now that the nurses' leader elmer gave a sad story about being duped by another recruiter which touched ben philipson, ceo of sentosacare.

    as a result, philipson asked his office to immediately process his papers for an immigrant visa to the us.


    sentosacare has had a good record of hiring the finest nurses from all over the world and it likes our filipino nurses for their compassion and skills.
    imagine how philipson must have felt when, after expediting elmer's papers, he got this lawsuit.

    it's a wonder he's still recruiting filipino nurses.


    however, when jacinto arrived in new york, he asked that he be allowed to "buy out his contract" from working in sentosacare facilities to work in a hospital.

    (sentosa facilities are not hospitals but are accredited centers providing for thousands of residents on a 24-hour, seven day a week basis. all nurses were informed of this during their process of recruitment back in manila. each facility offers different areas of medical expertise, services and programs from long-term care to shot-term rehabilitation.)

    this request was not granted since it would be violating the rules and regulations of his immigrant visa.

    besides, it would put sentosacare in a bad light as it would appear that they were bringing in nurses not for their facilities but for other purposes.

    after his request was denied, jacinto again asked to be transferred to another facility near a medical school so he could pursue further studies and eventually work as a doctor.

    this was granted (as with other similar requests by other nurses) but apparently this was not good enough for jacinto.

    he led the other nurses in his batch in "abandoning" their jobs, crying "harassment" about labor conditions, salaries etc., and suing sentosa.

    later, some nurses, realizing they would be in violation of new york laws, went back to their posts.

    now let's review the true background of their grievances against sentosa.

    upon arrival in new york, as was agreed upon in manila, while they were waiting for their permits to work, the nurses were given clerical work in the facilities as part of their orientation in the american health care system.

    they were paid salaries corresponding to their workload and they stayed in free housing facilities for two months for them to adjust to a new lifestyle.

    some nurses stayed in the housing units for free up to six months. they were also covered by malpractice insurance up to us m as each facility is required by law to do so.

    the moment their work permits as nurses came, they were assigned to the sentosacare facilities and paid as nurses up to us an hour.

    now, why did jacinto and other nurses "twist" their stories against their recruiter and employer?

    apparently, another firm offered the group higher-paying jobs and a million dollars each for filing cases against sentosacare, through a filipino lawyer.

    (i hope they realize that the bulk would go to the lawyer's fees if they win? and they are in danger of losing their licenses to practice in the us and event deported ironically, most of the nurses including their dependents have fled to other states since sentosacare helped them get immigrant visa!)

    the bottom line here is that there are hundreds of other nurses happy with their sentosacare links. they earn up to us$ 140,000 for nursing directors, a little less for supervisors, and so on.

    is greed of a few going to spoil the chances of other filipino nurses to find better and more stable jobs in new york through sentosacare?

    the ones who committed the breach of contract were our ill-advised pinoy nurses because they abandoned their jobs, not sentosacare llc!

    were the moments of media glory worth endangering future nursing jobs for pinoys?
    if the papers alluded to by the writer do exist, they are likely to be in the hands of the prosecutor. and they are likely to be the reason why they pressed charges.

    if proven, they will most likely be deported. after serving some jail time.
  9. by   boot_unit
  10. by   loryn
    an eye-opener for future nurses

    Loryn
  11. by   Hannibal
    I read in a newspaper before and even saw in a documentary show that they were not given the expected benefits as stated in the contract- the reason why they left. Is this really true?
  12. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Hannibal
    I read in a newspaper before and even saw in a documentary show that they were not given the expected benefits as stated in the contract- the reason why they left. Is this really true?
    That's what the nurses claim but, I haven't been able to find copies of their actual contract posted on the internet so ... it's hard to tell, exactly, what their contract required.

    :typing
  13. by   pinoy_guy
    http://www.gmanews.tv/story/35810/10...jailterm-in-ny

    10 pinoy nurses face 6 years jailterm in ny
    03/26/2007 | 06:13 pm


    ten filipino nurses face up to six years imprisonment in new york and deportation to the philippines on charges of conspiracy and child endangerment.

    the nurses from the philippines, who were on a three-year contract with avalon gardens rehabilitation and health care center in smithtown, resigned without notice and walked out from the medical facility that cares for physically disabled children. their lawyer in new york, felix vinluan, was also charged.

    . . .

    reports from new york said vinluan instructed the nurses to quit their job without notice in april last year after the nurses complained of having grown tired of broken promises of benefits.

    although none of the children at the facility suffered ill effects from the walkout, the criminal charges were filed because the children were endangered, according to suffolk county assistant district attorney leonard lato.

    "it's just like if a parent leaves a child in a car with the windows up in the summertime," he said. "it doesn't matter if nothing happens to the child; the fact that they were left in a dangerous situation is the crime," he explained.

    . . .

    all the defendants were released on their own recognizance and were told to return to court on april 24.
  14. by   eivan
    Quote from lizz
    That's what the nurses claim but, I haven't been able to find copies of their actual contract posted on the internet so ... it's hard to tell, exactly, what their contract required.

    :typing
    I think it would be best just to wait for the Court's decision.


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