Is this Workplace Nepotism and Retaliation?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,
    I recently sent an email to my floor director and charge nurses concerning finding dry brown urine rings under the incontinence pads. I was told by a charge nurse to do this with the name of the tech I followed from days. The name of the lady tech was the floor director's niece's fiancee.

    About 1.5 weeks later I was called into the directors office. She stated, "I take very seriously the information that you have been sending me. Just like the person you reported made mistakes in their work, so too have you. " She outlined an instance I did not wake up a patient to give them heartburn medicine. The next time that she finds this she will write me up and send it to HR, it will go in my file. Could this be considered workplace nepotism and bullying? Should I get a lawyer?

    Dear Workplace Nepotism and Retaliation,
    You wrote up your Director's niece's fiancee and shortly thereafter you were called in about your own performance.

    The charge nurse who told you to send out a group email with the name of the tech did not give you good advice. It put you in a bad spot. This is more like shaming than reporting. A simple solution would have been to bring it to the tech's attention.

    What makes it sound like retaliation is that the Director linked the two events and prefaced your disciplinary warning with "Just like the person you reported made mistakes in their work, so too have you". Messages like that can be taken to mean "If you write up other people, you will be written up".

    I would not get a lawyer for a couple of reasons. Getting a lawyer would be overkill for the situation. You were not terminated and you did not receive a written warning.

    I would consider myself put on notice and see if the Director is going to continue looking for performance problems on your part, or let it go. If she targets you, you may want to look for another job before you are possibly terminated.

    If nothing further happens, and if you otherwise like your job, do nothing.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,447; Likes: 4,323