Foreign Nurses Charged For Walking Off Job - page 14

Smithtown nurses charged with endangering kids after walk-out Ten nurses who abruptly resigned from their jobs last year at a Smithtown nursing center were charged Thursday -- along with an... Read More

  1. by   justmanda
    Quote from lizz
    I've worked in hellholes ... but I still gave adequate notice when I quit. For one thing, I didn't want a bad reference. And I didn't want to dump on the other staff either because they're the ones who are really screwed if you just walk out. It's not their fault that management sucks.

    Seriously: why not just give adequate notice? Obviously ... it's got to be better than being indicted by the DA. Even if they're acquitted, they're going to have to disclose that indictment on every job application they submit in the future.

    I wouldn't want to have to explain that for the rest of my career. It would have been so much simpler to just give your reasonable notice, then quit.

    :typing
    I'm sure they didnt' realize they would be brought up on criminal charges when they quit...and that is my point. Giving notice is a professional courtesy. It is NOT legally required. Also, when management sucks, as you put it, so do working conditions. These nurses probably couldn't stand another day of it. If their co-workers could, then that is their choice. With all this being said, I would have tried my best to stick it out for the two weeks too. But we don't know what their situation was. Imagine their choice...Lose your license (by staying in an unsafe workplace) or be sent to jail. Mmmm....nice.
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from justmanda
    Imagine their choice...Lose your license (by staying in an unsafe workplace) or be sent to jail. Mmmm....nice.
    I think the risk of losing their license, even by giving notice, was probably a lot less than the risk of organizing a mass walkout which potentially jeopardized care for kids on respirators.

    From a practical standpoint ... you're never going to win when there's kids involved. It just looks bad. And, when you're in a fight with an employer ... you've got to remain squeaky clean because they have a lot more money and resources than you do. You can't give them any grounds to come after you because, if you do, they will probably win ... which is what happened here.

    Even if they're acquitted, this incident will follow them for the remainder of their careers.

    :typing
  3. by   justmanda
    Quote from lizz
    I think the risk of losing their license, even by giving notice, was probably a lot less than the risk of organizing a mass walkout which potentially jeopardized care for kids on respirators.

    From a practical standpoint ... you're never going to win when there's kids involved. It just looks bad. And, when you're in a fight with an employer ... you've got to remain squeaky clean because they have a lot more money and resources than you do. You can't give them any grounds to come after you because, if you do, they will probably win ... which is what happened here.

    Even if they're acquitted, this incident will follow them for the remainder of their careers.

    :typing
    I agree. Whenever sick kids are mentioned, you can't win (which is probably why the facility mentioned them). They look bad to the general public. This will definitely follow them around for the rest of their career. Even if they don't go to jail (and I don't think they will), they are stigmatized.
  4. by   nell
    My 2 cents worth:

    I work with a nurse who was recruited from the Phillipines.

    She was lied to about what kind of nursing she would be doing, living conditions, working conditions and wages.

    The nursing home (they promised her she'd be working in a hospital - NICU in fact) she was enslaved at was put out of business and she "escaped" after 1 1/2 years.

    I hope the nurses/PT win and an end is put to these shady recruiting companies.

    nell
  5. by   pepperann35
    Quote from chris_at_lucas_RN
    We will never be so desperate for nurses that we are OK with those poor excuses who view their positions as "just a job," their patients as inanimate objects to be left sitting for Lord knows how long until someone else bothers to show up.

    I think the penalties described are too lenient.

    It was this sort of sad, irresponsible and uncaring behavior that caused me to quit my first nursing job; even the nurse manager didn't care--she made excuses!

    Not everyone who does stupid and insensitive things is getting screwed by their employer. They left handicapped children on vents to fend for themselves.
    I agree, they followed some very bad advice. Shame on the attorney and shame on everyone of those nurses!:angryfire
  6. by   justmanda
    Quote from pepperann35
    I agree, they followed some very bad advice. Shame on the attorney and shame on everyone of those nurses!:angryfire
    Nope. If the description of the indictment is accurate, they did NOT leave the kids to "fend for themselves" None of these nurses were on the clock. THey had already completed their shifts. I think one had not clocked in yet. Considering the fact that they took such a drastic measure, it is obvious they complained to their employer about their broken promises prior to this event. The employer has some responsibility in this. SHame on this facility for threatening these foreign nurses in this manner. They obviously thought they could lie, cheat and steal from these nurses without consequence. Wouldn't it have been easier if they just fulfilled their promises? They are the ones who put these kids in jeopardy, not the nurses!
  7. by   Sheri257
    Quote from justmanda
    Nope. If the description of the indictment is accurate, they did NOT leave the kids to "fend for themselves" None of these nurses were on the clock. THey had already completed their shifts. I think one had not clocked in yet.
    Actually, that's not what the indictment or the DA says ...

    Afterall, if they had not left the kids to fend for themselves, they probably wouldn't have been indicted in the first place.

    Six nurses cared almost exclusively for the respirator kids. One was on vacation, and the other five quit.

    http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/da/press...et%20al%20.pdf

    Since an additional five nurses who were also trained on respirators quit all at the same time (with a total of 10 nurses quitting all together), the indictment is saying there was no one left to care for the respirator kids.

    And, according to another news account of what happened:

    http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?se...cal&id=5137397

    Prosecutors say two of the nurses walked off the job last April after the day shift at Avalon Gardens Rehab and Health Center in Smithtown.

    The others, according to prosecutors, never came in for the night shift. They reportedly were all under the guidance of an attorney, who was also arrested.


    "They essentially all walked in and said, 'We quit, right now' on a Friday night," Lato said. "Even if they had quit on Friday morning, at least it would've given the nursing home some time to find replacements."

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 21, '07
  8. by   pinoy_guy
    an update on the case.

    this article is obviously pro-sentosa, but we can glean some insight from it.

    this is not a simple case of hospitals/agencies harassing nurses.

    for the record, most filipino nurses have integrity, and honor their contracts.

    (apologies to the mods for the extensive quotes--the website kills links after a few months.)


    http://www.mb.com.ph/scty2007042692657.html

    ...elmer jacinto, charged them with not honoring their commitments in terms of position, pay, overtime, housing, etc.

    they walked out of their jobs, and went to media to shame sentosa.

    well, sentosa decided that they should fight back with the truth because it appears now that halftruths were peddled to media to make them appear the victims of uncaring recruiters and health care managers.

    they sued the nurses for breach of contract (the nurses signed with them with the full knowledge that they would be in a health care system ) and abandoning their patients.

    . . .

    the mass and sudden resignation was a well-planned protest and demonstration actually against their employer, sentosa care group.

    apparently, the 10 filipino nurses were really not going to honor their signed three-year contracts. never mind if the parent company had incurred expenses bringing them to the us, secured working visas for them and for some, even their families without any money spent on their part.

    jacinto was even helped by the sentosa recruitment's head, francis, by advancing him money to pay off an earlier recruiter who did not deliver on his promise of a us visa and a job.

    and it also seems that their attorney, vinluan, had sought to obtain for the nurses, alternative employment!

    . . .

    this puts a different face to the sentosa case, one that is really lamentable with regards the lack of integrity on the filipino nurses' part. the nurses who also walked out of their jobs in other sentosa case facilities in other parts of new york were also charged but the surfolk group is the first indictment.

    according to assistant district attorney leonard lato, the defendants, if convicted, face a maximum of six years' imprisonment and possible deportation, except vinluan who is already an american citizen.

    they also stand to pay back us$ 25,000 each to sentosa care group for the expenses incurred in recruiting and bringing them to the us.

    *****

    i can only surmise that those who walked out on their jobs thought that doing so would embarrass their employer and let them break their contract just to keep the "protest" under wraps.

    the poea, on the uninformed advice of the philippines' new york consulate, did suspend the recruitment firm's license herewhen the "injustices" story came out.

    the sentosa management was rebuffed by the consulate when they asked for an appointment to brief them on the actual facts of the walk out.

    it immediately recommended that manila suspend their license! it took an american senator who had worked for more visas for foreign nurses to write a letter to president arroyo to please grant a fair hearing to one of his constituents, the sentosa care group.

    after sentosa was granted a fair hearing by poea's administrator, the suspension was lifted.

    . . .

    the defendants continue to stay in the us as their visas have not been revoked-yet. they are working in other health care facilities or hospitals.
  9. by   RN BSN 2009
    no danger?
  10. by   mgfan1001
    Sheri257, are you saying Filipino nurses aren't professionally trained?
  11. by   Sheri257
    Quote from mgfan1001
    Sheri257, are you saying Filipino nurses aren't professionally trained?
    No ... not at all. I just think that these particular Filipino nurses made the mistake of listening to a lawyer who gave them very bad legal advice.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 27, '07
  12. by   pinoy_guy
    http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/.../021330-06.pdf

    avalon gardens rehabilitation and health care center, llc, . . .
    plaintiffs,
    -against -
    anne almendrala, rennan cortes, rowena lozada and felix vinluan,
    defendants.
    facts

    the defendants anne almendrala, rennan cortes, and rowena lozada (hereinafter the "nurses") were granted immigrant visas to come to the united states from the philippines to work as nurses. the nurses entered into employment contracts for three years. the contracts stated that $25,000 in damages would be due if the contract were breached. almendrala's contract is dated april 1, 2006. on november 29, 2006 almendrala terminated her employment. likewise, cortes and lozada terminated their employments prematurely. plaintiffs assert causes of action for (1) breach of contract against the nurses, and (2) tortious interference with contract against defendant felix vinluan (hereinafter vinluan). vinluan is an attorney in the state of new york. in the answer, defendant vinluan asserts a counterclaim seeking recovery of damages against plaintiffs.
    accordingly, defendants' motion to dismiss complaint is denied; and plaintiffs cross-motion to dismiss counterclaim is granted.
    Last edit by pinoy_guy on Apr 29, '07
  13. by   mo-mo
    jUST ADDING MY $0.02, HERE.

    This isn't a case of neglect/ abandonment, etc, IMO. Even if the ENTIRE staff had walked out, save one manager (or nurse or housekeeper or CEO or CNA or whatever), those kids were in the hands of a competent adult with the ability to use a telephone.

    Worst case scenario: Call 911 and tell them the kids aren't safe, getting adequate care, or anything that works. Or declare that your facility is in a state of emergeny to the media, and you'll get more beds offered up than you have patients. EMT's can ship 'em elsewhere until staffing issues are resolved. It's not like these kids were left in the basesment of an abandoned building or in the middle of a forest for goodness sake!

    If those patients were in a harmful or neglectful situation, then that is the responsibility of the leaders of that facility. I truly believe that this case is all about 'sticking it to' those nurses for walking out.

    I think its codependent Bull$%!# thrown in with a little God-complex that we'd allow ourselves to be manipulated to feel responsible for the lives of patients when our shifts end and our work is done.

    Were the nurses unprofessional, unethical, WRONG, for doing what they did? Absolutely! Neglect, abuse, abandonment? Not unless the pt were their own kids.

    momo

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