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California nurse fired for reporting illegal conduct

Often, employers in California, and those across the country, will use their size or strength as a corporation to intimidate employees and former employees. There are many ways in which a corporation can do this, but one of them is through an illegal and wrongful termination.

Unfortunately, sometimes when employees are wrongfully terminated, they simply walk away and do not try to hold their former employer accountable for their actions. If an employee feels that they have been wrongfully terminated, they should instead find a way to protect their rights. That is exactly what a nurse in California recently decided to do.

One form of wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee as a form of retaliation for reporting illegal conduct engaged in by the employer. The nurse in this case believed that her employer was in violation of nurse-patient staffing requirements. Therefore, she reported these concerns to California's Department of Public Health in June, 2011.

Beginning in January, 2012, the agency sent an investigator to the hospital once a week for a total of two months. Ultimately, the agency determined that the nurse's concerns were correct and they sent her a letter stating that fact. When she brought the letter to work to show a co-worker, her supervisor stepped in, allegedly assaulted the nurse and took the letter away.

Shortly thereafter, the nurse's employment from the hospital was terminated. Although the hospital stated that it was because she was being rude to her co-workers, the nurse believed it was because of her decision to report the staffing issues.

A grievance was filed on the woman's behalf by the California Nurses Association and the woman was ultimately reinstated. However, she lost all benefits she had accrued for the 13 years in which she worked at the hospital. Therefore, the woman has now filed a wrongful termination lawsuit claiming illegal retaliation in an effort to protect her rights and obtain the compensation to which she is entitled and for which she worked so hard for 13 years.

Source:, "Whistle-blowing nurse sues Rideout," Harold Kruger, May 22, 2014

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Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.

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