WI Healthcare Worker Retaliation Protection Act

  1. Hello all,I am an LPN with 27 years experience and would like to share my story.Here in WI we have a law called the Wisconsin Health Care Worker Protection Act, this law is regulated by a state agency , the ERD. This law protects healthcare workers who complain/report enethical , illegal patient care issues or practices of the employer to an in house supervisor, OR an outside state agency. The law provides for payment of lawyers fee if you win and , my lawyers took my case on contingency of winning, so I have paid no fees of any kind.I was retaliated against for engaging in just such a type of reporting.I have had my case heard in a Administrative Law Hearing,just a few days ago and lost in that hearing. I want all nurses to know that even if there are laws out there protecting reporting, there are also cut throat lawyers who are retained by the multi billion(yes I said billion) nursing home industry.Despite mounds of evidence and wittnesss to cooberate my story, the Administrative Law Judge chose to dismiss my case.What we really need is a FEDERAL law that protects healthcare workers from retaliation for reporting.We need a forum to have our cases heard in Federal court where we may collect punitive damages as well.My attornies and I are going to appeal this to the Supreme Court level if need be.It is IMPERATIVE for we nurses to have protection from unscrupulous employers for doing the right thing.We need a nation wide STRONG union for nurses.There are so many horror stories of nuses being retaliated against,we need to UNITE for mutual protection under the law.NO WONDR so many nurses have left the field, SO SO SAD.
    •  
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   medsurgnurse
    Good Luck. Keep us posted on what's happening with your case. There have been other nurses posting on this site about their experiences with similar matters. You might gain from reading those posts.
  4. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from ingelein
    hello all,i am an lpn with 27 years experience and would like to share my story.here in wi we have a law called the wisconsin health care worker protection act, this law is regulated by a state agency , the erd. this law protects healthcare workers who complain/report enethical , illegal patient care issues or practices of the employer to an in house supervisor, or an outside state agency. the law provides for payment of lawyers fee if you win and , my lawyers took my case on contingency of winning, so i have paid no fees of any kind.i was retaliated against for engaging in just such a type of reporting.i have had my case heard in a administrative law hearing,just a few days ago and lost in that hearing. i want all nurses to know that even if there are laws out there protecting reporting, there are also cut throat lawyers who are retained by the multi billion(yes i said billion) nursing home industry.despite mounds of evidence and wittnesss to cooberate my story, the administrative law judge chose to dismiss my case.what we really need is a federal law that protects healthcare workers from retaliation for reporting.we need a forum to have our cases heard in federal court where we may collect punitive damages as well.my attornies and i are going to appeal this to the supreme court level if need be.it is imperative for we nurses to have protection from unscrupulous employers for doing the right thing.we need a nation wide strong union for nurses.there are so many horror stories of nuses being retaliated against,we need to unite for mutual protection under the law.no wondr so many nurses have left the field, so so sad.
    [font="trebuchet ms"]amen! i completly agree. the need for federal regulatory intervention is dire! at the core of every single case like this....are nurses who want to work for facilities who truly are placing patient safety as their #1 priority. who are the people who can tell you when there is a problem ...or ways to improve a work environment/problem making it safer for the consumer? who would you ask? well common sense would say ...you'd ask the people working in that environment. but when those employees livelihood is threatened ( whether perceived or actual).....when they raise concerns that impact safety of patients....it is illegal in most states. should nurses have to loose their jobs when they see a patient placed in harms way and they voice their concerns? well...no! we are constantly told to be proactive patient advocates.....and sometimes folks that doesnt make us the "most popular" people with the powers that be in the corporate world.....but ya know what? that...is our job. read the nurse practice act.
    and sadly it does occur that alot of these cases get dismissed by judges who do not follow the letter of the law.the thing is....when it gets past that first district court...and goes on to larger arenas like the "supreme" court....the letter of the law does get followed....that facility gets "outted" for how they handle the concerns of their employees for the safety and welfare of their patient population....and that ladies and gentlemen is a good thing. healthcare facilities then have their track record exposed making it easier for the next nurse who comes along and suffers what you have to obtain justice by showing their history. try this.....google healthcare retaliatory discharge in a few different formats and see what you get.what you get is.....a whole lot of new recent cases where the courts are getting more and more intolerant of healthcare facilities trying to silence concerned patient advocates. also patients and their families who are searching for facilities to attain medical treatment at are doing web searches ....their own investigations.......and it is a good thing when they find out where patient safety really ranks at that hospital....and to what lengths those hospitals will go to silence concerned nurses when it comes to patient safety. the bottom line is ...we all want to provide care in a safe proactive facility that places patient safety as the priority and listen to the people who work in those environments....the nurses...the resp therapists....the pa's....the np's...the pharmacists.they should all be able to speak out and voice concerns without retribution...and if they are retaliated against....i hope they all leave the legal papertrail that leads back to a public record for that healthcare facility....bc these cases are trending more for in favor of the employee than ever. it also serves as a public record for the patients too...and their malpractice attorneys.
  5. by   whistle1429
    Ingelein,
    I'm sorry to hear that you lost your case. Of course, that's my concern as well- even though we may have a very strong case, the average jury trial win is only 50% !
    I have done everything I possibly could, to get the hospital noticed enough to have to address their patient safety issues, as well as how they address the concerns that we bring to their attention.
    I'm with you... I've said it before, I think we need to rally, and be heard by someone who can actually make a difference. I've submitted my story to 20/20, as well as notified the local newspaper, and a few other talk shows. I think if we all bombard the shows with our stories, they're more likely to take an interest, and that interest will be put upon politicians...
    Instead of just saying "good luck" to eachother, and thinking that the little budge is enough... just shouldn't be good enough for any of us to accept! The employer is just a bully, and they always get away with this type of behavior because we (nurses) back down when push comes to shove... their team isn't any stronger, just bigger! When will some of you actually ACT, rather than sit by the computer and read all these terrrible things that keep happening to others, like yourself?
    Perhaps the ANA can help? Is anyone willing to travel or anything? I'm willing to step up and tell my story along with others... what's the problem here?
  6. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from whistle1429
    Ingelein,
    I'm sorry to hear that you lost your case. Of course, that's my concern as well- even though we may have a very strong case, the average jury trial win is only 50% !
    I have done everything I possibly could, to get the hospital noticed enough to have to address their patient safety issues, as well as how they address the concerns that we bring to their attention.
    I'm with you... I've said it before, I think we need to rally, and be heard by someone who can actually make a difference. I've submitted my story to 20/20, as well as notified the local newspaper, and a few other talk shows. I think if we all bombard the shows with our stories, they're more likely to take an interest, and that interest will be put upon politicians...
    Instead of just saying "good luck" to eachother, and thinking that the little budge is enough... just shouldn't be good enough for any of us to accept! The employer is just a bully, and they always get away with this type of behavior because we (nurses) back down when push comes to shove... their team isn't any stronger, just bigger! When will some of you actually ACT, rather than sit by the computer and read all these terrrible things that keep happening to others, like yourself?
    Perhaps the ANA can help? Is anyone willing to travel or anything? I'm willing to step up and tell my story along with others... what's the problem here?
    Whistle, I am very willing to tell my story and the story of our very sick healthcare system in a large forum.I do have health issues, since nursing also ruined my health, but I can do some travelling, may need a wheelchair assist to get from one gate to the other though, how did you get to 20/20?!PM if you want, I AM willing to help .

close