Can they fire me?

  1. Looking for advice! Here is the very short version: I got hired by a private hospital (non-union) in July. Three months into my orientation (new RN residency is a year long at this place), I broke my finger. They will not let me come to work until I get a clearance from occupational health NP as there is no "light duty." Now my nurse manager and orientation staff will not get in touch with me, answer any questions/emails, tell me where to send leave of absence paperwork. HR can only tell me that my department head (absentee nurse manager) needs to sign the paperwork as this falls under nursing jurisdiction.

    They told me at the beginning not to worry about my job but their behavior is absolutely leading me to worry about my job. Can they even fire someone for breaking their finger? The injury wasn't work related and the MD says I can most likely go back to work at the beginning of November.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Visit OuchieRN profile page

    About OuchieRN

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 4


  3. by   Sparrowhawk
    Why do you need light duty for one broken finger?
  4. by   OuchieRN
    Great question. I didn't even ask for light duty, I just want to go to back to work. They're insisting I can't properly give meds or "lift patients" with one broken finger...?? Pregnant nurses aren't asked not to come to work and they get "light duty" all the time.
  5. by   RNsRWe
    CAN you be fired? Yes: If you work in an "at will" State, you can be fired for no reason whatsoever.
    WILL you be fired? If you're not being difficult about return date, and aren't requesting special accommodations, it isn't likely. However, if they were looking for a reason, and now you're telling them you can't work for another three weeks....? Could be.
  6. by   OuchieRN
    I worked at this hospital as a CNA before I became an RN and they liked me enough to hire me back and indicated that I was doing a good job in my RN role. I'm utterly baffled by their sudden lack of responsiveness.

    I do work in an at-will state.
  7. by   netglow
    Don't know what you mean by "absentee nurse manager" - but - call your doctor's office and get a letter stating when you are clear to go back to work, ask that you will pick up your letter - don't wait for it to come in the mail. Get a few copies made of the letter. Then just get in your car and go to your workplace and go right to your hospital's employee nurse office and talk to the NP there. Ask her what the normal procedure is, show her your letter etc. Then go to your nurse manager and have her sign and date your leave of absence paperwork if that is what is usually done after you have compared the NP's and HR's procedures about this type of thing. Make a copy or two of the signed paperwork and then walk down to HR with your all your paperwork. Most likely you will be checked out by the NP right after your MD has cleared you.

    While you are with your nurse manager, ask her about your orientation and if you could meet with an educator to work on learning more about something or a class you could sit in on (if any) while you wait to come back.

    That's what I'd do. You have to run your show.
  8. by   OuchieRN
    Wish it were that simple-- the MD will not clear me until the fx is healed, and the "normal procedure" is that the NP at OHS has the right to reject the MD's clearance! She did it once already when I actually got a clearance from a different MD.

    As for sitting in on classes, I asked to do that and was told if I can't show up for regular duty then I can't show up for anything at all.

    Don't mean to shoot you down. The only thing I can do right now is show up and ask the nurse manager (absentee meaning that she is totally unresponsive to my emails/calls) to sign the LOA ppwk once I have an estimated return-to-work date.

  9. by   PeepnBiscuitsRN
    I would make a personal appearance to drop off the paperwork. Is this nurse manager known to be unresponsive or a pain in the butt to get ahold of? I would just pop in and give the paperwork to her, let her know you're bummed out that this happened and that you sure look forward to returning ASAP. Honestly though, the way you're talking about your orientation people and your manager makes it sound like it's not a real user friendly place!
  10. by   *4!#6
    I agree, go in person. They can't ignore you if you're standing right there!