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Is that legal?

Hello all! I was in a car accident in April. Since then I have been suffering from horrific headaches. I've been under the care of doctor's and three different neurologists. I'm a hospice LPN, we've also been critically understaffed, we had a horrible heat wave in late July and our census keeps going up while we drown with a dwindling staff. So yes, we've been a little irritable. My threshold for handling stress is shrinking, I don't laugh and joke as much and I was in a fog and I was just exhausted. My short term memory was on overload because of the pain and the case load I had. My boss came to me and stated that I just wasn't the same - that I had had a personality change! SHE put me on forced medical leave. I saw my neurologist a few days later after I had had a Neuro-Psych battery. He said I was fine, I scored above- average in all area except short term memory and concentration, in those areas I scored average - and he felt that I should improve when the pain improved. This was the 2nd week of August. So he said, "Well, you sure could use some rest because next week I see you have three days of outpatient treatment schedule in the big city - so how does Labor Day sound to you?" And I said, "Sounds good to me!" So there you have it. I've been off nearly the entire month of August. Yes, I am grateful for the time off - but can your boss put you on medical leave like that? I had no complaints, no issues, no fights, no arguments, no med errors, no co-worker issues. I was just overwhelmed, in pain and in need of more staff - as we all did. Thanks for listening.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Hi and welcome. Unsure of the legality of this. However, if your supervisor is saying that she is concerned, it might be better just to take the leave unless you can afford to change jobs.

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.

Post moved to more appropriate Forum.


Post moved to more appropriate Forum.


Which post are we talking about? And, to which forum has it been moved?


Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

This thread was in an inappropriate forum when created and was moved to this forum.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I'm not sure of the legalities, however your employer has an obligation to the patients that you perform safely and if there is any doubt I'm real sure they have the right to remove you from duty until you can prove yourself medically and pyschologically capable of performing your job. I've seen them remove impaired nurses before and they were not allowed to return to work without clearance.

The liability to the employer who suspects you being unsafe and unable to perform is too high for them not to ask for medical clearance. My gut instict is that what they asked was legal, but take it with a grain of salt because I really don't know.

Take care of yourself first and foremost. Best of luck to you.

Jolie, BSN

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health.

I can't offer legal advice, but I have been involved in a similar situation, as a supervisor.

A number of years ago, I worked as an assistant head nurse of a small department, and had one employee who was clearly struggling with mental health issues. I spoke to her and offered assistance via the EAP, which she declined. I was then instructed to offer her a voluntary LOA, which she also declined. Her behavior continued to escalate, and while she seemed to handle her work load appropriately, her fellow staff members were terrified of her. I was finally instructed to mediate a meeting with her, the nurse manager, and HR, during which she was placed on involuntary leave, requiring a doctor's note to return. In the long run, it was a very positive thing. She presented herself for voluntary treatment at a psych. facility, and returned to work in about a month.

Your employer has a duty to its patients to see that the staff members caring for them are fit for duty. I believe that what they did was probably legal, and since your doctor agreed that you could benefit from some time away from work, their actions were probably justified.

Hope you are feeling much better!

Thank God for the rest and put this behind you if you can....let it go.

God bless you.

Legal or not, I think I would love to have a supervisor who cared enough about me to do that. She is not only taking care of the pts, she is taking care of YOU by making sure you take the time off before something does/I] happen.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

legal or not, i think i would love to have a supervisor who cared enough about me to do that. she is not only taking care of the pts, she is taking care of you by making sure you take the time off before something does/i] happen.

i agree. it sounds like your supervisor did right by you!

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