Retaliation for voicing concern over unsafe pratices - page 10

Hi, I am looking for some insight into retaliation acts by employers.I am a RN in a ICU setting at a major teaching hospital.I have been a resource to my entire unit.I received a promotion only... Read More

  1. by   gauge14iv
    Oh and - forgot to say this - the dangerous co-worker who your boss refused to fire? There would be NO WAY to get rid of her EVER if she were in a union! Unions tend to protect their "underdogs" to the last tooth.
  2. by   vamedic4
    Quote from tnnurse
    i did contact an atty.our state does have a quitam and common law tort that directly states you can not retaliate against nurses for "whistleblowing" on unsafe pratices. the nurse pratice act clearly defines my legal responsibility and the state law provides me protection from whistleblowing.this is one of the few exceptions to " employment at will". i am not quite to the point of filing a suit yet.i am still trying to resolve this matter by the hospital's dispute resolution process.the problem is they keep postphoning that hearing. however...i will not agree to a transfer. that is just wrong. patients lives are involved. a transfer would be a way of saying that patient safety doesnt matter ...and that "i have learned my lesson to keep my mouth shut" when it comes to a patients safety and life.if that were your mother/child in that icu bed...on the brink of life/death....how would you feel if the previous nurse had agreed to a transfer...rather than doing what was right. do you see what i am saying? its a ethical thing....and i dontstruggle with my decision on that point. i lost my job...and it was illegal. i am asking if anyone has ever been thru any type of dispute resolution hearing? can anyone tell me what kind of questions they ask? is this just a sham hearing?i am asking for advice or any insight from anyone who has been thru a similar experience or knows anyone who has.
    thanks though...but a transfer....is just not a option id accept.and thats an ethical decision for me too.it would just be wrong.
    \\

    this meeting is a sham, brought about by those whom you have "embarrased". this is an attempt by them to try to convince you that you were wrong when you brought this to their attention.
    do yourself a favor and keep your appointments with your legal counsel - sue the piss out of your "former" employer. make an example out of them.

    good luck!!!

    :angryfire the only thing worse than working with stupid people is working for them.
  3. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from gauge14iv
    as for making a case for unions by saying that "federal employees are all members of unions"...

    c'mon - have you dealt with some of these federal employees?? no case to made there! (no i'm not generalizing so if you are one of the exceptions don't flame me)
    guage14,
    so...since the va hospitals are ran by the gvmt...they are considered federal employees?i had never really thought about that...hmmm...i do know that some federal employees are afforded many many safe guards agaist stuff like i have had to endure.i dont know really how is the best way to get more legaslative laws passed.i am a memeber of my state nsg organization, the ana etc and have never been contacted by them to participate in any activity.i am just at a loss for answers. in my case....of course i will fully participate in the hco "internal investigation"...which is probably a sham....and then when i am faced with concrete evidence they are a "sham" ..i will see them in court.bc...i lost my retirement, my family lost their health insurance, i lost my security of my job...and have spent so many nights trying to undestand how this could happen in today's society.
  4. by   gauge14iv
    There needs to be whistleblowers protections in areas OUTSIDE of federal agencies. You may actually have some recourse under a whistleblowers law somewhere...I'm not a lawyer so I don't know what that law would be, but a good labor law attorney would know. It's possible - since the hospital takes payments from the federal government (ie: medicare) that there may some govt. agency whistleblowers protection there.

    I absolutely believe you should fight this in court. But don't stop there - keep telling your story, keep motivating others to get these sorts of laws passed and stay active in your local and national organizations.

    http://www.whistleblowers.org/

    As for being active in your orgs - they won't come looking for you - you have to go to them - thats why they call it active and not passive
  5. by   gauge14iv
    In addition - you have enough material to file a formal complaint with the board against these two, I believe I would go that route too.
  6. by   Keysnurse2008
    Guage14,
    You were right. The meeting was a sham.
  7. by   gauge14iv
    I'm so sorry. Don't try to think about what's next today. Allow yourself a few days to mull it over. I'm so sorry.
  8. by   Keysnurse2008
    This proves it....I am niave and gullible.I truly believed they were interested in actually investigating what occurred.Only one party was actually listening(I think) to what I was actually saying.All the loyalty ...I have had for this institution...is slipping away. I have always been such a huge patient safety advocate. Numerous new protocols& items in this ICU are because I have requested them to ensure patient safety.What I had to do ( bringing this forward to the only dept that could/would make an intervention)...wasnt a position I wanted to be in...I didnt "ASK" for this. I was placed in a position of either turning away and ignoring it,..or doing the correct ethical thing and speaking out. I spoke out.....and both me and my family have paid for it.

    Guage14...I will take your advice and sleep on this for a day or two. I do have an excellent attorney.He is great...has a strong ethical core also.So..I will follow his advice.After looking at my former employers web site...I was directed to a site...that has all the laws that they must adhere to.Unfortunately....they have broken an awful lot of them with me.Too bad for them.I think the last one was the Patient safety and Quality Improvement Act that President Bush just signed into law this year that makes it illegal to fire an employee for bringing forth patient safety issues.Then there are the Common Law Torts...Retaliatory Discharge...etc etc. I was an excellent employee...who is known for my excellent ICU skills and knowledge.This NM just wrote a long glowing letter outlining all my wonderful qualities only weeks prior to firing me.Letter was for a promotion in which I of course got.So...now what is she trying to say?That I suck as a nurse?She...needs to figure out which lies,.. in all this mess she wants to go with...bc ...she is getting me way too confused.lol. Seriously though...you were right...
  9. by   gauge14iv
    I would like to offer you some comfort - I know the words ring hollow right now, but they meant a lot to me after the fact when I found myself in a situation that was not as bad as yours but which led me to doubt my capability as a nurse and even as a person.

    You are NOT that institutions opinion. You are not that managers opinion, You are not what they say or what they would try to make you believe you are. You are an excellent nurse with strong skills, good judgement, incredible loyalty to your patients and a WILL that will make you a leader. DONT GIVE UP.

    In the situation I was in - a manager tried to tell me I just "wasn't cut out for nursing" because they had given my job away while I was out on disability after a very serious car accident (I was hit by a drunk driver at 70 mph head on). I still remember that *itches face as she said those words...I was ready to leave nursing right then and there. I went home and cried for a week. When I threatened to sue under the FMLA, they told me they did have a comparable position open - it was nights in the OR. (You tell me just how a night job in the OR compares to a day job in the ER)

    Thankfully - one physician whom I worked closely with and who was not an employee of the hospital pulled me aside and sat me down - I bawled my eyes out the whole time he talked....(makes me tear up now just thinking about it and this was over 12 years ago). "Don't you dare listen to her or her cronies - you are one of the best nurses I have ever worked with, yes you are new (I had only been out of school a year or so) but you are awesome! Just because this manager is an idiot DONT LET HER TAKE THIS AWAY FROM YOU. You have worked hard and you deserve to have better". He was kind enough to write me a glowing recommendation letter.

    I went to a bigger better place and got a bigger better job and learned bigger better things and let me tell you - I dont look back at that little He77 hole hospital very often...

    I know things stink right now - you are in the middle of the pit and it's hard to see out. Although you cannot imagine what this will make of you in the future, you have the choice to use it, or let it use you. I have the feeling you will do something with this that even you could not have imagined. I'm looking forward to seeing just what that will be!
  10. by   CseMgr1
    Quote from TNNURSE
    This proves it....I am niave and gullible.I truly believed they were interested in actually investigating what occurred.Only one party was actually listening(I think) to what I was actually saying.All the loyalty ...I have had for this institution...is slipping away. I have always been such a huge patient safety advocate. Numerous new protocols& items in this ICU are because I have requested them to ensure patient safety.What I had to do ( bringing this forward to the only dept that could/would make an intervention)...wasnt a position I wanted to be in...I didnt "ASK" for this. I was placed in a position of either turning away and ignoring it,..or doing the correct ethical thing and speaking out. I spoke out.....and both me and my family have paid for it.

    Guage14...I will take your advice and sleep on this for a day or two. I do have an excellent attorney.He is great...has a strong ethical core also.So..I will follow his advice.After looking at my former employers web site...I was directed to a site...that has all the laws that they must adhere to.Unfortunately....they have broken an awful lot of them with me.Too bad for them.I think the last one was the Patient safety and Quality Improvement Act that President Bush just signed into law this year that makes it illegal to fire an employee for bringing forth patient safety issues.Then there are the Common Law Torts...Retaliatory Discharge...etc etc. I was an excellent employee...who is known for my excellent ICU skills and knowledge.This NM just wrote a long glowing letter outlining all my wonderful qualities only weeks prior to firing me.Letter was for a promotion in which I of course got.So...now what is she trying to say?That I suck as a nurse?She...needs to figure out which lies,.. in all this mess she wants to go with...bc ...she is getting me way too confused.lol. Seriously though...you were right...
    I hope you saved all of your commendations and performance evaluations. My sister did, and it enabled her to win an out-of-court settlement when her employer terminated her for so-called "poor performance" That was total B.S. for, like you, she got into trouble for "rocking the boat". She got the last word, and SO WILL YOU!
  11. by   Undecided7
    File and lawsuit and make it public. People in the community have a right to know what is happening there. As you said, what if it was you or a family member? Forget reinstatement and hearings- you're just getting the run around and even if you get your job back, nothing will really change- in fact, it will probably be worse and they will look for any little mistake you ever make to fire you again and management will resent you. I can tell from your post that you love nursing and helping people. Even so, consider this- a couple million in the bank (from winning your lawsuit- which you know you would) couldn't hurt either. Take them to the cleaners for their unethical and dangerous practices. Later, after getting your fat settlement check, you can speak out all you want at any job because if they fire you...oh well.
    We NEED more people like you to have progress!
  12. by   Soleilpie
    tnnurse
    i know you are going to prevail in the end!
    :icon_hug:
  13. by   TsunamiKim
    hang in there tnnurse,

    i am sorry you had to experience the scam hearing; it has to be experienced to be believed. take your righteous indignation and run with it. "success is your best revenge." every time in my life when people have tried to take me down by behaving in a spiteful and dishonorable way i have managed to move past all the obstacles they put in front of me. perhaps i am just stubborn with the tenacity of a cornered rat, but i am a survivor. latter i look back at my adversaries and think; "you are trailing in my wake," (an old sea dog expression.
    this time around it has been the longest, toughest battle of my life, but i will not let it consume me. as i work towards justice i try not to loose sight of other goals like my humanitarian ambitions. working on other causes, especially my stint in aceh after the tsunami, has helped to stem the pain of personal losses. however i will never give up fighting to reveal the truth and obtain some level of accountability from my former hospital. it's so sickening to have to choke down the sanctimonious preaching of "america's best hospital" knowing the hypocrisy behind their hype.
    you are a survivor too so do not let this ludicrous "hearing" dissuade you from pursuing the truth. document everything and get ready for the next round. they will use stalling tactics to slow the process down as this acts in their favor. it is amazing how quickly those tactics pay off for the hospital and agencies start saying well it was "x" many months ago. there are also statutes of limitations to consider and they provide a perilously small window of opportunity, hence the hospital's delays. on the one hand they so called "whistleblower" protections expect you to follow normal channels first on the other they say you should have acted sooner. the hospital knows all the tricks to play this game; do not let them stall for time. pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on this issue fast! no matter what they said do not buy into their crap. sorry you had to experience the worst. keep up the good fight and stay strong,

    fair winds & following seas, kim.

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