Please Help! Abandonment and Retro Pay

  1. Hi everyone!

    I have a question about what is considered abandonment by an RN and how to request for retro pay (pay that was supposed to be included in my past check and wasn't for time worked).

    I recently resigned from my job at a SNF, 5 hrs before my shift (I was at home). My manager threatened me with abandonment and I believe she did this so I would not purse my retro pay, here's why...

    When hired for this job I was promised a $2 increase in pay after my probation period was over. After contacting my manager over the course of 30 days 'after' my probation was over it was continually not taken care of. During this time I began to look for a different job. Once I revived a better job offer I gave my two weeks and because she was so busy preparing for state to visit our facility, she had not adjusted my pay as she told me.

    So I decided to not continue my curtesy 2 weeks notice and resigned that day. Here's what I emailed her for documentation:

    "Hi (manager),

    When I accepted this job, you offered me $2 increase with no mentioned contingency after 90 days, that is the reason why I accepted this job offer as I had multiple job offers. I asked to get it in writing at that time but you assured me that you were really good at taking care of this sort of stuff. My 90 days have been up for a month now (end date 3/14/18, today 5/13/18) and I've contacted you multiple times (in person, phone, and text) about it being completed over the course of the last 30 days (30 days ago, 16 days ago, last week and three days ago) I have not received a confirmed response message (text or email or voicemail) $2 increase on top of my original pay was suppose to take effect on my last two pay checks as promised when hired. I wanted to continue working at (facility) per diem after talking to you about my two weeks notice on 4/9/18. But as of now, nothing has been done, I do not feel secure or safe in this job. I am resigning as of now.

    Thank you for this growth and opportunity,

    ... ... RN"

    I resigned 5hrs before my next shift while I was at home. She then threatened me with reporting me for abandonment and jeopardizing Pt safety. Is that legal?

    I was scared for my license and did not want to jeopardize something that I had worked so hard for that is why I did not come in so she could find a reason to fire me after my two weeks and still not retro pay me for the previous 30 days worked. She owes me over $500 and I believe she thinks I will not purse getting it back after her threat of abandonment.

    where can I find the rules/ regulations, what is considered abandonment as an RN in the state of California? What is your advice on getting back my pay?

    As for proof of the retro pay I have a text message sent to me that she was going to retro pay me, after I sent her my recognition. Before that she made sure there was no paper trail, she would always respond in person or over the phone.

    thank you for your help and time, greatly appreciated!
  2. Visit YellowBirdz profile page

    About YellowBirdz

    Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 2; Likes: 3


  3. by   Okami_CCRN
    You should look up what your state's board of nursing considers abandonment; more often than not you must have to accept a patient assignment and then abandon your patients by not reporting off to another RN. Thus leaving the patients without a nurse to care for them.

    In regards to your retro pay, if you did not have it in writing then you can not prove that it was offered. Chances are you will not be able to obtain retro pay as it was not mentioned in your hire paperwork.
  4. by   Double-Helix
    A verbal promise of a pay increase does not constitute a binding contract. The nurse manager may not even have the authority to offer salary increases without higher approval, so her text messages mean nothing. You accepted the position at the original offered salary with no written provision for an increase after probation. You are not legally entitled to retro pay. Consider this a lesson learned- never accept a position based on terms that aren't written and signed.
  5. by   brownbook
    I agree completely with Okami. Just Google California State BON...patient abandonment. It is there in black and white.

    You are lucky to be rid of that facility. It sounds awful. I would put losing the retro pay money as an expensive lesson from the school of hard knocks. I wouldn't pursue it even if you righteously were owed it.
  6. by   caliotter3
    Go to the website of the CA Labor Board. There you will find the information needed regarding filing a claim for wages owed. You can speak to a representative if you have any questions.
  7. by   YellowBirdz
    I've gone on my state boards of Nursing but am unable to find it, I'll continue searching and update in the comments once I find out for sure. Thank you for your response
  8. by   brownbook
    Board Of Registered Nursing

    California Board of Registered Nursing
    REV. 11/2001, 01/2011, 04/13/2011


    Inquiries have been received by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) regarding which actions by a nurse
    constitute patient abandonment and thus may lead to discipline against a nurse's license.

    Generally for patient abandonment to occur, the nurse must:

    a) Have first accepted the patient assignment, thus establishing a nurse-patient relationship, and then
    b) Severed that nurse-patient relationship without giving reasonable notice to the appropriate person
    (e.g., supervisor, patient) so that arrangements can be made for continuation of nursing care by

    A nurse-patient relationship generally begins when responsibility for nursing care of a patient is accepted by
    the nurse. Failure to notify the employing agency that the nurse will not appear to work an assigned shift is not
    considered patient abandonment by the BRN, nor is refusal to accept an assignment considered patient
    abandonment. Once the nurse has accepted responsibility for nursing care of a patient, severing of the nursepatient
    relationship without reasonable notice may lead to discipline of a nurse's license.

    RNs must exercise critical judgment regarding their individual ability to provide safe patient care when
    declining or accepting requests to work overtime. A fatigued and/or sleep deprived RN may have a diminished
    ability to provide safe, effective patient care. Refusal to work additional hours or shifts would not be
    considered patient abandonment by the BRN.

    The RN who follows the above BRN advisory statement will not be considered to have abandoned the
    patient for purposes of Board disciplinary action. However, it should be noted that the BRN has no
    jurisdiction over employment and contract issues.
  9. by   Lucydog14
    Nope. In order for it to be abandonment you would had to shown up to work and accepted the assignment.
  10. by   egglady
    Today isn't 5/13/18......
  11. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from YellowBirdz
    I've gone on my state boards of Nursing but am unable to find it, I'll continue searching and update in the comments once I find out for sure. Thank you for your response
    What state are you in? I'm pretty good at looking these things up!

    Attached is from the California Nurse Practice act

  12. by   Jedrnurse
    You left because you were "scared for your license" but would have stayed if you'd gotten the raise?
  13. by   amoLucia
    If you had called out 'SICK' just 5 hours before your next starting shift, I'm sure you would NOT have been considered as 'abandoning' your pts. You'd have been 'SICK'. You might have annoyed your boss, but you'd be marked out 'sick'.

    Your last sentence about ' not feeling secure or safe' probably is what po'd her. Esp since you were quitting on short notice.

    From what I know about California, it is a state with all its own quirks. However, you did quit 'without proper notice' so you may have ruined it for yourself. That's usually grounds for generally bad recommendations for future job searches. And I don't know how that'll fare for California Unemployment.

    PPs recommend to check out the laws and make sure you're compliant with your facility's Employee Handbook R & R. Prob your only recourse as applicable.
  14. by   psu_213
    Quote from YellowBirdz
    I asked to get it in writing at that time but you assured me that you were really good at taking care of this sort of stuff.
    This can be a lesson for others--unless it is in writing, it is meaningless. I don't know if her claim of "abandonment" is just to intimate you into not fighting for the retro pay, but, since it was not in writing, there is basically no chance for you to get it back anyway.

    Not sure if she is reacting to the "safe and secure" line, but, IMHO, it was a bit over the top on your part.