I have been working for a pediatric nursing agency for about 2 yrs now. I am a private duty nurse for a 2 yr old girl. The agency is horrible!! I have had 4 different "bosses" in the past 2 yrs because this place is so disorganized no one wants to run the place. They are being sued by a former boss for slander among other things. The agency has mistreated my clients family on many occasions. They never check in with nursing to see how she is doing, never send in the paperwork they should and consistently "forget" to pay the nurses on her case. The family no longer wanted to work with the agency, but did not want to lose myself and the other nurse on the case. I am fairly new to private duty nursing but the day nurse on the case suggested to mom that we could go independent and work directly for mass health. So the other nurse and I became independent providers. Mom recently told the agency she no longer wanted their services because she was unhappy. The agency said "no problem" an that was that. A week later I recieved a phone call from my "boss" at the agency. She proceded to tell me how unethical I was for becoming an independent provider and that they were taking legal action against the other nurse on the case and myself. I am unaware if i signed a "non compete" clause and am in the process of finding the paperwork i signed during orientation 2 years ago. But do they have a case if mom is the one who wanted to leave but wanted to keep the nurses? Doesnt mom have a right to choose who takes care of her child? If she went to another agency they wouldnt be able to sue correct? Thanks!!
Sep 24, '11
My husband who is an attorney has told me that a non-compete clause is not worth much! You may have to consult an attorney though, cause laws from state to state do vary. I wish you luck. At any rate I hope you have documentation on how the agency treated the clients and even if you don't you might encourage the clients to contact your DHH on these problems.
Sep 24, '11
thanks so much for your reply! I think my boss is only making empty threats against us ( well atleast i hope they are) because the client only has 40 hrs of nursing a week. So its not like she is a huge client and they are losing out on tons of money. But then again this agency is so terrible they only have a handful of clients to begin with so a small client to most may be a big client for them. I am a single mom and dont have alot of money for an attorney so im hoping nothing comes of this. Could this effect my nursing licence at all? I am also a pediatric RN at a local hospital so losing my license would be detrimental to me and my livelyhood. Is there any type of insurance i can get to cover me if i am sued? I am in such a panic, if i knew it was going to cause this big of a problem i never would have done it. I was assured by the other nurse as well as a few others working in the field that although it would **** off the agency it wasnt illegal
guess i should have done more reseach first
Sep 24, '11
This very thing happened on a case where I was working, except the agency did not threaten legal action. They do not have much of a leg to stand on. Clients leave agencies every day, usually for the same reasons you mention and nurses move around for the same reasons. Seek legal advice to set your mind at ease if you think it will come to anything. but chances are the agency employee was just blowing off at you. Best wishes.
Sep 24, '11
What you need is legal advice -- not nursing advice. Please consult an attorney ASAP. That's why attorney's exist, to help people with these types of situations. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with this.