Foreign Nurses Charged For Walking Off Job - page 10

Smithtown nurses charged with endangering kids after walk-out Ten nurses who abruptly resigned from their jobs last year at a Smithtown nursing center were charged Thursday -- along with an... Read More

  1. by   Gromit
    Rep -no offense intended, but if foreign nurses choose to work for wages and conditions that the 'natives' considder to be sub-standard, then YES, they ARE part of the problem. Conditions will never change when there are those willing to put up with them.
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Gromit
    Conditions will never change when there are those willing to put up with them.
    That is, actually, the great irony of this case. They'll take any job to get here. Then, we they do get here, they scream bloody murder when the American Dream isn't what they thought it would be.

    You can't have it both ways. The reason the American Dream isn't what they thought it would be was because they are allowing themselves to be exploited in the first place.

    Foreign nurses are a major reason employers are able to get away with this, because American nurses have already walked away from these jobs. If foreign nurses didn't take these jobs, the employers would finally be forced to raise their pay and improve conditions.

    Instead, the foreign nurses give them the opportunity to maintain the status quo. It just perpetuates the problem. And, as they learned, the American Dream won't be around for very long when you're allowing employers to perpetuate exploitation.

    By the time they do get out of these contracts and try to move on to better paying jobs ... those jobs won't pay so well anymore, because there will be yet even more foreign nurses lining up right behind them, willing to be exploited and taking those lower paying jobs.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 30, '07
  3. by   Gromit
    There isn't a whole lot you can do to change that, however. I mean, when you read some of what they put up with in their own country, its no wonder they view THIS country as a much better alternative.
    After reading a full news account of the event that started this thread, I'm finding out that they didn't quit shortly after leaving, they quit when they were supposed to be coming back on shift. While I still say the prosecutions' case is shakey, what they did was completely wrong. I'd sure have hated to be the one on shift waiting for my relief, to have my relief quit right at the time I would be expecting to hand off my assignment. I think I'd be pretty ticked off -and feel like a little pay-back (not a good thing if you're a 'good ole' boy bikertype like myself. I WILL get even, if you know what I mean).
  4. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Gromit
    While I still say the prosecutions' case is shakey, what they did was completely wrong. I'd sure have hated to be the one on shift waiting for my relief, to have my relief quit right at the time I would be expecting to hand off my assignment. I think I'd be pretty ticked off -and feel like a little pay-back (not a good thing if you're a 'good ole' boy bikertype like myself. I WILL get even, if you know what I mean).
    Well ... I'm glad we agree on something, at least. Maybe it's because I spent several years as a reporter but, once you start digging into these things ... you usually find out that everybody on both sides has their motives and is far from pure.

    For me, the red flag was when these nurses kept calling themselves victims. Something just wasn't right about their story.

    :typing
  5. by   juan de la cruz
    I am a Filipino nurse who have been in the US since 1995. Like most, I was sponsored by a LTC in Michigan where I stayed for 3 years. Many years have passed since -- I have moved on to work in acute care settings in many different units including Med-Surg, ER, and ICU. I also went on to obtain my master's degree in nursing at a state-funded university in Michigan and have been practicing as a nurse practitioner since 2004. I owe my current success (for lack of a better word) to my hard work and the opportunities this great country offered me. I am so grateful to the point that I have decided to participate fully in the affairs of my adopted American society by being a naturalized citizen in 2005.

    Looking back I can fully understand every Filipino nurses' desire to come to the US and make a living here. However, I have also seen what nurse migration has done not only to the host countries but also the countries which continue to be the source of foreign nurse migration. I believe that that there are many ethical issues facing nurse migration that needs to be addressed. It is a known fact that many of those health care corporations that continue to struggle with understaffing are the ones that do not pay well and have deplorable working conditions. Some are even located in areas where personal safety can be a concern. Unfortunately not many Filipino nurses who live in the Philippines are aware of this and so are targeted by recruiters who can easily lure these nurses with a mere promise of wages in US dollars. I see this as an unethical practice. Not only is this unfair to the foreign nurse, it also puts these nurses at risk for exploitation. These nurses will have no choice but to abide and endure poor working conditions because the price of insubordination is deportation back to their native countries since these business minded individuals are smart enough to bind these nurses with contracts. On a grand scale, it lowers the level of professional nursing because if corporations are allowed to get away with such practices, then work conditions for nurses will never improve and nurses will continue to be viewed as cheap, disposable labor.

    I have also seen the effect nurse migration has done to the countries were foreign nurses come from. The Philippines, for instance, has seen a tremendous increase in the establishment of new nursing schools since 10 years ago. A lot of schools have sprouted in every locality to the point that there are not enough hospitals and patients who can accomodate the learning needs of many students enrolled in these nursing schools. It is also a known fact that many of these nursing schools are run by individuals who are after monetary gain rather than a desire to train qualified nurses to join the workforce whether locally or abroad. I am even amazed that LPN programs have also been introduced in some schools in the Philippines when there is no existing licensure or practice act that govern these types of nurses in that country.

    The question now is whether we should continue to recruit foreign nurses given these circumstances. As a Filipino who is now a naturalized American, I am torn between these issues. On one side, I sympathize with Filipinos but the reality is that this issue is serious enough that drastic measures need to be implemented. I think that the US government has somehow stepped in with visa retrogression. I don't know what else to say or think. I am not writing this to express agreement or disagreement with anyone. I am just feeling the need to vent what I feel about the issue.
  6. by   jayrem
    I would like to respond to Chris RNs statement about greed,etc,why Filipino nurses come over here.First,I would like to tell you how lucky you are to be born here and have all the opportunities that a free and rich country have to offer their citizens.I am thankful to America for giving that opportunity to all who are hardworking and are willing to live their American dream.Yes,we come here for financial reasons,to help make better not only our lives but also the lives of our families back home.If you call that greed,so be it.I would continue to be greedy for the sake of my family.To continue,even though I came here for financial reasons, I also came to do what is expected of me as a nurse .This again,I can assure that majority of us are doing,we take really good care of the sick here.If you had a bad experience working with one of us,then,that was just a fluke,an unlucky experience for you and in behalf of the Filipino nurses,I apologize.But here is what I can say to you.You would want me and the likes of me to be your nurse one day and you won't regret it.
  7. by   pinoy_guy
    amazing...the da has his own website.

    straight from the horse's mouth, without the inevitable bias in news articles.


    http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/da/press/2007/3_22_07.html

    nurses and attorney indicted for endangering patients


    avalon garden's parent company, the sentosa care group, and its affiliate, sentosa recruitment agency, recruited the nurses in the philippines, entered into contracts with the nurses and incurred expenses in bringing the nurses to the united states. the indictment states that if the nurses did not honor the three-year commitment clause of the contract, the nurses would be liable to sentosa care for money damages of $25,000.

    the indictment charges that the nurses and their attorney, mr. vinluan, sought to obtain for the nurses alternative employment and a release from their three-year commitment without incurring the financial penalty. according to the indictment, the defendants pursued their objective without regard to the consequences that their pursuit would have on the pediatric patients. the indictment charges that the defendants agreed that "the defendant nurses, including all the available nurses who cared for children on ventilators, would resign without giving avalon gardens notice."

    . . .

    according to mr. lato, each of the defendants, if convicted, faces a maximum of six years' imprisonment. mr. lato states that although mr. vinluan is a united states citizen, the other defendants are citizens of the philippines and, if convicted, may face deportation.


    to get a better perspective on this case, the first salvo was fired by 27 nurses & 1 physical therapist against sentosa in april 2006.

    http://www.philippinenews.com/news/v...58789480f04074

    28 nurses, pt file suit against agency in new york

    apr 18, 2006

    ...their lawyer...had filed a class action suit against their employer, sentosa care group. they charged sentosa, a private network of nursing homes based in new york, with breach of contract.

    "when they arrived, they were surprised they were not introduced to the company (they were supposed to work for)," said lawyer felix vinluan...

    vinluan said his clients...were made to work for a different facility other than the facilities provide for in their contracts.

    . . .

    while owned by the same person, the facilities, vinluan maintained, are different entities with different tax id numbers. on signing a contract, one promises to work for the entity provided for in the contract not a different one, he explained.

    the class suit was filed with the department of justice's office of special counsel for immigration-related unfair employment practices in washington d.c. vinluan said the osc will decide in 10 days if the suit has merit, and/or whether it would go to the appropriate court, maybe labor or homeland security.

    weeks after vinluan filed the case, the sentosa group lodged a $50-million countersuit against the nurses and physical therapists including their lawyer for breach of contract and tortious interference. the sentosa group, according to vinluan, would like to have the green cards issued to the nurses canceled. the pt has an h1-b employment visa.

    . . .

    apart from being assigned to a different employer, the complaints against sentosa include, according to vinluan and the nurses who spoke at the forum, non-payment of overtime, non payment of shift differential, shorter hours, abusive supervisors, being made to over work. some nurses are assigned to two units with 50 patients per unit, pn learned.

    the nurses also alleged some had no jobs waiting for them when they arrived in new york. they also said their living quarters had no heating. all this had been going on, they said, since november of 2005 up until three weeks ago when some of the nurses decided to approach the consulate and vinluan with their complaints.

    a nurse who spoke at the forum broke down and said, "some of us were made to do the work of two people. the tasks are so gargantuan, some of us are forced not to take breaks just so we can finish the jobs, and some end up vomiting."

    "suffering is a choice; we choose not to suffer anymore," she added.

    "right now they have no jobs," vinluan said of his clients. but with the green cards issued on account of their employment with sentosa, the nurses and pt are confident it is just a matter of time before they can find employment.

    vinluan said the green cards could not be revoked because it was sentosa that first broke the contract.

    . . .

    "i'm down to my last $50," a nurse told pn. "we promised each other 'walang iwanan.' our spirit is holding us together."
    "the class suit was filed with the department of justice's office of special counsel for immigration-related unfair employment practices in washington d.c. vinluan said the osc will decide in 10 days if the suit has merit, and/or whether it would go to the appropriate court, maybe labor or homeland security."

    i wonder what the decision of the osc was? this happened in april 2006, and supposedly it would take only 10 days to "decide if the suit has merit."

    no news came out if "the case had merit."

    how can we find out what the osc decision was?
  8. by   pinoy_guy
    another piece of the puzzle: what the 27 nurses and the physical therapist wanted against sentosa.

    http://www.filipinoexpress.com/20/15_news.html

    nurses file class suit vs. recruiter, employers


    the filipino health care professionals asked the department of justice's civil rights division to:

    require that philipson and his companies to pay them their back wages;

    allow them to severe their employment relations with their petitioning employers and with their actual employers, without being held liable under the pre-termination clause of their respective employment agreements or under any other agreement, whether written or verbal;

    award them the appropriate attorney's fees;

    award them the appropriate exemplary and punitive damages;

    enjoin philipson and his companies from engaging in their discriminatory practices;

    revoke the recruitment license of philipson and his companies in order to prevent them from exploiting other nurses and migrant workers; and

    bar respondents from ever sponsoring foreign employees, whether as immigrant workers or as h-1b non-immigrant workers.
    the last demand is interesting.

    most filipino nurses still in the philippines who are pinning their hopes on sentosa wouldn't be happy.
  9. by   pinoy_guy
    another angle to the complaints of the 27 nurses, why they filed their class suit in april 2006...the result of which is still unknown.

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquire...ticle_id=18821

    no greener pasture for topnotcher


    living in abandoned houses

    aside from being underpaid, the nurses complained of being overworked. each of them is required to attend to 35 patients round the clock, instead of the ideal ratio of six patients per nurse.

    short of cash in the big apple, jacinto and his colleagues now live "in leaking abandoned house(s)," located possibly in dark alleys of the city, which they had to furnish by "scrounging around for utensils, chairs and other things thrown away" by other people.

    this was how lawyers felix vinluan in new york and tim calumpong in manila painted the lives of jacinto and the other nurses who banded together and, "in desperation," sought legal help to renounce their contract with sentosa and its us-based partner, sentosa bent philipson.

    vinluan flew to manila and met with sen. aquilino pimentel jr. on aug. 27 to seek help in prosecuting the local recruitment agency.
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I'm going to take a stab at this. I read most of the thread and skimmed the rest.

    I agree with lizz, the nurses were wrong.

    Here's why.

    It doesn't sound to me that the issue was lack of coverage at the end of the shift they walked out after.

    And, any nurse can quit without notice after any given shift is completed.

    A union, however, must give sufficient notice of a walk out.

    I think the issue is, BECAUSE these nurses orchestrated a mass walkout, they in effect, conspired to place the hospital in a position where it couldn't reasonably and timely staff subsequent shifts (not the shift directly after the one they had finished, but the remainder of the weekend shifts.)

    In effect, through conspiracy, they attempted to gain the benefits of a union-type walkout without a union type notice. The ACT of conspiring to quit as a group was designed to leave the facility in a bind for the entire weekend's coverage.

    And THAT conspiracy negates the right of any of them, as individuals, to quit without notice. They WEREN'T acting AS individuals, but as a group of co-conspirators.

    In effect, they wanted the legal rights of an individual while exercising the concerted actions of organized labor. And therein lies the problem.

    Acting AS A GROUP in a work stoppage, while failing to give notice, amounts to patient abandonment. It does as surely as if a union were to enact a work stoppage without notice. By acting as a GROUP, they negated their rights to claim entitlement as INDIVIDUALS, under the law.

    In that case, the legal question is the intent of the conspiracy. SINCE the intent was to place their facility in an untenable situation, where the ultimate victims were the patients, it is a reasonable argument that the INTENT was to create a situation that amounted to patient abandonment. (and that is because, as Lizz pointed out, the BON requires reasonable attempts to avoid abandonment situations. In effect the concerted attempt was to CREATE an abandonment issue, at cost to the employer, but also, without concern for the patients.)

    "When the nurse abandoned employment at a health-care facility without giving reasonable notice to the facility and under circumstances that seriously impaired the delivery of professional care to patients."

    Individually, none of them would have violated the above standard by quitting without notice. BY conspiring to quit en masse, they purposely created a situation without regard to "circumstances that seriously impaired the delivery of professional care to patients".

    At issue is not whether an actual case of abandonment occurred, but if the INTENT was to create an untenable staffing issue without concern for the question of abandonment. Our system of laws looks squarely at intent over actual effect. If I INTEND to run you down with my car, but miss, I have still committed a crime.

    I could be sold on that argument. And I am normally likely to take the nurses side in most disputes. This though, this was underhanded in a way that was not patient advocacy. The INTENT of their concerted and organized actions was without regard to the consequences to those patients.

    Very bad legal advice, and, very poor form.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Apr 1, '07
  11. by   Gromit
    I have no doubt whatsoever that their grievances against this company are legitimate. NO doubt at all.
    BUT regardless of your situation, you do NOT quit just before you're supposed to be going on shift. I can even allow for not giving a two-week notice -I've worked in places that were so bad that they didn't DESERVE a protracted notice -and while I wouldn't have just quit that day en masse (this was not a new problem, but a long-standing one, obviously. The problems did NOT crop up suddenly. ) but when you wait until its time for your shift to start, and THEN quit, you betray the nurses you were supposed to relieve -and in THAT respect, they are guilty because there literally was no time to try to call agencies to fill slots -many nurses were going to be pulling a 'double' all of a sudden.
    When this story first broke, I was under the impression that they quit as soon as they went off shift -and in THAT situation, while still drastic, the company still would have had 10+ hrs to fill slots and prepare for a drastically reduced force.
    There can be no excuse for stabbing their fellow nurses in the back, however. Not like that.
    Now, that being said, I still think the prosecution has some ethical problems of their own -you don't go after one block of nurses simply because you can now parade some photographs of children on vents. They either broke the law, or they didn't. They are either guilty, or not. If he must use pictures of children, and wild claims about how these poor suffering children on vents couldn't call for help (lay it on thick if you like -I don't buy into that crap) to sway a jury, then he has no real case and should be ashamed of himself.
    I also believe that this company should be under some serious investigation. If they haven't been paying back wages, then they too are criminaly liable -and certainly shouldn't be allowed to skate.
    I'll give you one guess as to how long I'd stay if I weren't being paid. And no, you wouldn't get a notice -I'd flip you off as I left at the end of my shift (but I would do it THEN, not 11 hrs later when I was supposed to be reporting in).
  12. by   Sheri257
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    At issue is not whether an actual case of abandonment occurred, but if the INTENT was to create an untenable staffing issue without concern for the question of abandonment. Our system of laws looks squarely at intent over actual effect. If I INTEND to run you down with my car, but miss, I have still committed a crime.

    I could be sold on that argument. And I am normally likely to take the nurses side in most disputes. This though, this was underhanded in a way that was not patient advocacy. The INTENT of their concerted and organized actions was without regard to the consequences to those patients.

    Very bad legal advice, and, very poor form.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Very well said Timothy.

    :typing
  13. by   pinoy_guy
    update on the class suit filed by the 27 nurses & 1 physical therapist april 2006.

    http://globalnation.inquirer.net/new...ticle_id=58192

    filipino nurses plead not guilty in ny
    04/01/2007

    new york—eleven of 27 nurses and a physical therapist who had filed a class suit against sentosa recruitment agency last year for alleged violations of their contract and unfair labor practices pleaded not guilty thursday to charges they had endangered the lives of their patients when they resigned en masse to protest the charges against them.

    the nurses had filed a class action for damages before the nassau county supreme court last year but sentosa countersued and filed a civil suit against the filipinos. the nurses’ suit has not yet been resolved.
    why file it before the nassau county supreme court? is it the right court for the class suit?

    does it usually take more than a year to settle the cases filed in nassau county supreme court?
    Last edit by pinoy_guy on Apr 1, '07

Must Read Topics


close