Terminated!!!..now what

  1. 1
    Hi. ANY advice is appreciated here. I am a 15 year veteran RN who just got terminated for something so trivial I am embarrassed to post it here. It has nothing to do with patient care. I have never made a med error, never received a patient or family complaint, in fact I get commendations almost daily with many "You are the best nurse I have ever had." I LOVE my job and I think it shows. I work well with and am well respected by my peers, CNA's, physicians I work with, and other staff and am friendly with everyone from the Attendings to housekeepers.
    I have worked several units, but this last one I have witnessed the worst favoritism, discrimination, and no support from management than any other unit I have worked. My coworkers are hardworking (some bad apples, like every unit) and we have come to work well together as a team for the most part bc management does not support us, unless of course we are this manager's "pets" and do favors for her. Things started to get really bad and my vacation requests would not get approved when others with much less seniority got approved, and I started to complain. Things got even worse and I started getting written up for trivial things, having NOTHING to do with patient care. I had never been written up before. I went to HR and filed complaints. HR of course "found no merit" to my complaints, even though many of my coworkers confided to me and complained about the same things for years, even before I transferred to this unit. Out of fear of losing their jobs they would not complain to HR. Of course I tried to transfer but the writeups prevented them.
    My biggest fear was that this manager would retaliate and try to fire me because of the complaints I filed. I tried to tell HR this. But my prediction came true and this manager found another trivial write up that she used to terminate me bc I was on final warning from the last 2 trivial write ups. trust me the write ups have nothing to do with my performance as a nurse, they were for things all nurses forget to do once in a while such as forgetting to do a valuables checklist when transferring a patient from one room to another---writeups no one else was getting written up for. So now that this manager term'd me, she is bragging about it, my coworkers are scared to death themselves of getting fired, and they are upset that this happened to me. I was a nurse who helped everyone, even when I was busy, even if I knew that nurse talked behind my back if she needed an IV for her hard stick patient, i would do the IV for the good of the patient. I am appealing the termination to get re-instated, even though I was so stressed there for the longest time. always afraid of getting written up, and fired. Even though I have overwhelming evidence that this manager is retaliating, HR seems to be siding with her. I am thinking of filing charges with EEOC. Is there anything else I can do, anyone else I can contact, would writing a letter to MAGNET or the CEO of my hospital help?
    I am in step one of the appeal process, but I do not feel anyone is on my side. I plan to go on to step two and all the way to step three of the appeals process just to be heard, I am not naive enough to think I will get my job back although I'd love to be reinstated just to quit. No matter what proof I provide HR twists it, and I don't see how they will reinstate me bc this would undermine this manager and her boss' decision. I don't even want the job back to be honest, it is a sad unit with management that truly does not value their employees. I feel bad for my coworkers stuck there. Does anyone have any advice? I agree with an earlier post I read somewhere, "the truth gets a good nurse in trouble". Administration is not interested in the truth.
    Thanks for any advice.
    MoonlightIdle likes this.
  2. 17 Comments so far...

  3. 5
    This is why EVERY nursing group needs to be part of a union. I don't see any value the wages or other financial perks unions negotiate for; every hospital has to be competative in wages and benifits to mantain a staff. The benifit of the union is you have a lot more backing when an issue like this comes up. It isn't a 100% solution, but it can sure help to have a legaly binding review process in writing. The worst thing is with 15years working for one company, you have a narrowish skill set that may not transfer to other facillities, and you can hardly "skip" this employer when listing references. I knew a nurse who quit her job every 5 years just to avoid getting boxed into a position or company and being dependent on any one companies good will to provide references for her resume'. I thought she was nuts, but I now can understand her choice.
    renardeau, California2, Marisette, and 2 others like this.
  4. 8
    Here's the thing. Facilites want nurses who they don't have to pay top dollar for. And a nurse with a 15 year history is big bucks to them....and then the "nerve" of asking for a *gasp* VACATION?!?!?!

    In my experience, the general concern seems to be that long term nurses are far too entitled, they want too much and we should all be thankful we have jobs. They are resentful that we are paid for years of service and loyalty (2 terms that are practically non existent in today's culture) when they can get 2 or 3 less experienced but far more mold-able nurses to take your place. To create in their own image,

    Unfortunetely, then comes the trivial write ups due to the fact that they got nothing else. Here's the thing. We are of the thought process that loyalty, patients that we do the most good for, really caring about what we practice are ethical and wonderful things. A time when facilities really supported nursing practice as both an art and a science. Guess what? Not that way anymore. They want bodies to get their numbers up, their reimbursements at a high point, and profit. Get em in and get em out, and don't fluff, buff, empathize or get involved in the big picture. Just take a snapshot and move on. And for those of us with multi year experience, it is a sad time indeed.

    My thoughts are with you in the process. And I am so sorry this happend to you.
  5. 6
    You have 15 years of good service that has just been flushed down the toilet. Good luck getting another job with your former employer saying you are in eligible for rehire. Getting reinstated even if you quit will at least change that. It may cost you but I believe that it will be money well spent, hire an attorney. You'd be surprised what that simple act can do. My guess is that this manager is not that smart and that she did not dot every I and cross every T. An attorney who works for you will easily find these shortcomings and most likely turn the tables in your favor. Seriously. Hire an attorney and that manager and HR will be crapping in their drawers.
    llg, California2, Marisette, and 3 others like this.
  6. 8
    I just re read your OP. Do NOT write any more letters before you consult an attorney. You need a professional that has your best interests to guide you through this mine field..
    llg, Marisette, sallyrnrrt, and 5 others like this.
  7. 2
    jadelpn, I agree with EVERY point you made..I have considered my higher pay as a reason she also went after me...she knows I know what's been going on and she looks at me as a threat. You're also right that they could not find anything worthy of writeups on me so she "found" things. And HR is just there to protect her. It IS a sad time. They don't really care about the patient or staff, it's just numbers. Thanks for your post, I appreciate it.
    sallyrnrrt and jadelpn like this.
  8. 3
    Thank you, keepItRealRN ....I have decided yes, I will get an attorney. Tomorrow. Thanks again, I'll come back and update. In the meantime, I am so much less stressed about not being there...it takes so much energy fighting for a job I haven't been happy doing (bc of the management). Really sad.
    sallyrnrrt, jadelpn, and Lev <3 like this.
  9. 5
    Congrats California2 on taking the necessary steps. Don't think of it as fighting for a job you aren't happy with, what is imperative is that the "ineligible for rehire" because of your termination be changed so that you can use that faclity on the next application you fill out for a job. If you get reinstated you then have a few choices. One would be to voluntarily resign without burning bridges of course. Or you might even be able to get a position in another department. Hiring an attorney shows the facility that you mean business and aren't going to take their crap laying down. Like I said a good attorney will be able to torpedo their documentation full of holes. 15 years of experience is worth more than any money that you will spend on legal fees by far. Once you have your attorney on retainer do not communicate directly with the hospital or anyone connected with the hospital. All communication should be done through your lawyer. That is what you are paying him or her to do. I wish you the best of luck and am waiting on pins and needles to read your updates. Not only are you helping yourself but you are helping nurses who have been railroaded in this fashion and may be preventing future nurses from being railroaded by this manager.

    Sure an attorney may not get you rehired, but I guarantee that he/she will at minimum be able to get the hospital to change the reason you left from being fired to resigning on good terms and eligible for rehire, which is what you need in order to apply for a different job.
    Last edit by KeepItRealRN on Feb 15 : Reason: More to add
  10. 3
    I will echo the previous posters: do not make any more moves without an attorney. Even if you don't go back to the hospital, at least you can resign on "good terms" and be elligable for rehire. Even if they did give you your job back, I would be hesitant to take it. All managers talk.
    llg, California2, and sallyrnrrt like this.
  11. 1
    I think the first thing to remember is that HR does not work for you or the nurse manager, they work for and have the best interest of the facility in mind. Period. That is their job. Many people make the mistake of thinking that HR is there for them....No. They will defend a nurse if there is an injustice or side with a nurse manager to fire someone if the evidence supports it.
    PHXRN1 likes this.


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