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Unethical allegations by employer after termination

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  • Unethical allegations by employer after termination

    I have just been fired on allegation that I delegated my duty to another employee. After my termination, management filed complaint against me to licensing authority saying that I delegated my duties to others. They even placed these words in my mouth that I never agreed. It's also possible they may be indirectly threatening other employees to talk against me. The truth is I never delegated my duty to others and the entire personnel file (I have a copy of this) has no reference to anything like this anywhere! This is a clear harassment that's costing me a lot, both economically & mentally.
    Can somebody please advise what I can do against this management?
    Thanks.

  • #2
    From what you posted, I'm guessing you are some sort of licensed professional, like a healthcare professional.

    Now that it has been reported to your licensing body, the licensing board will conduct an investigation. In my experience, in NJ and PA at least, these investigations are very thorough. The burden of proof for revoking your license is much higher than it is for an employer to decide to terminate (you can be termed just on suspicion). Also, if the employer suspected you of something improper just before your termination, there would be no record of that in your employee file. As a healthcare compliance officer, when I do internal investigations, those notes do not go into the employee file, just a final termination notice with the reason for the term.

    If you have done nothing improper, that's what the licensing board investigation will likely find. Also, check with any professional organizations you might be a member of, and see if you can get free or low-cost legal representation as part of your membership.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the response & your time. You wrote, "Also, if the employer suspected you of something improper just before your termination, there would be no record of that in your employee file".
      But isn't it improper/unethical if:
      1. They gave me a termination paper indicating I delegated duty to another person.
      2. Then complained to licensing authority I did that on many occassions.
      And -- for both 1 & 2 they put the words on my mouth and there is no record about past wrong doings in the personnel file.
      Thanks.
      Last edited by just_fired4; 05-04-2010, 01:37 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        improper/unethical doesnt mean illegal...

        Comment


        • #5
          If it is on your termination paper then it was in your personnel file. You seem to expect a report in your file which lists the documentation of the claim against you.

          Also it is possible the documentation is somewhere else since the complaint was filed with the licensing board.

          What exactly do you want to happen at this point to the management?

          The best you can do is forwarn any hiring managers that you speak to that you cannot get a reference from your last employer. You will need to spin it in the best possible light without lying.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would not be so concerned about what can be "done" to the former employer, and worry about your own professional license. This needs to be your #1 priority right now if you value your career.

            Without any more information, I'm reading that whatever you supposedly "delegated" to someone else was improper in some way (if that's what happened). So they fired you. Then afterward, as often happens, someone probably came forward and said "Oh he/she did that lots of times." So they then decided to inform the licensing body.

            An employer doesn't necessarily just call the licensing board if they truly believe you did something improper, they also call if they have any reason to believe that you did. So because they reported you to the licensing Board does not mean they necessarily have any evidence, or that anyone is trying to "get" you in any way. They must cover themselves.

            If I terminate an RN for a performance issue, and later that day people walk in and say "I'm so glad you got rid of her---she always makes non-nurses administer meds." I don't have any proof of this, but I have enough to give me an ethical obligation to report it to the state Nursing Board, while I commence my internal investigation. Then the Board will do their own investigation as well. My internal investigation will be to ensure compliance with the organization's licensing and accrediting bodies and the payers requirements. The Board investigation will be only focussed on whether the RN violated the law and their Code.

            Comment


            • #7
              I really appreciate your time in explaining, really--thank you very much.
              If I read correctly (if wrong, please pardon me)--you are saying:
              1. Employer should be given more credibility than an employee.
              2. Once somebody (who was not in mgmt. position) is gone, others can bad mouth about him/her and mgmt. can site that as added reasons for firirng.
              If the above are true, very politely I ask:
              1. What's the right of an employee?
              2. Doesn't this fall under unethical practice involving (some form of) collusion between mgmt. & subordinate employees to harass a fired employee?
              Once more, thanks again.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by just_fired4 View Post
                I really appreciate your time in explaining, really--thank you very much.
                If I read correctly (if wrong, please pardon me)--you are saying:
                1. Employer should be given more credibility than an employee.
                2. Once somebody (who was not in mgmt. position) is gone, others can bad mouth about him/her and mgmt. can site that as added reasons for firirng.
                If the above are true, very politely I ask:
                1. What's the right of an employee?
                2. Doesn't this fall under unethical practice involving (some form of) collusion between mgmt. & subordinate employees to harass a fired employee?
                Once more, thanks again.



                Even if such behavior is unethical, this does not mean that such behavior is illegal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  How about violation of labor laws? Just asking because I am not sure.
                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No labor law has been violated. If there had been a violation, you would have been told above.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I realize that it seems like the employer is awarded more credibility than the employee, but (and I can only speak for healthcare here) the employer has a duty to protect clients/patients/quality of care, and a duty to comply with payer requirements and federal and state laws. This means that if there is enough reason to believe a healthcare professional has violated a law, reg, ethical code, or standard of care, then the employer has to get rid of the employee.
                      Yes, in a criminal court of law you have to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But to fire someone, no such standard exists. The welfare of patients/clients comes first. The standards of the payers and the law (sometimes they are the same thing, like with Medicare & Medicaid) come a close second. Yes, employees have rights, and we do whatever we can to guarantee them, but the healthcare employee only comes in third place.

                      If you were fired or harassed due to a legally protected class (like race, sex, age, etc) or legally protected right (you blew the whistle on Medicaid fraud, you just took FMLA), then that is illegal.

                      But you were, for better or for worse, fired, likely after a cost/benefit analysis of the company's liability vs. your value to the company. That's how companies stay in business.
                      Then if there is any suspicion on the part of the employer that you violated your licensing standards, they HAVE TO report you to the licensing board. They don't need evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to make such a call.

                      If anyone "badmouthed" you by knowingly lying about you, and you experience actual damages due to the lie, then you can pursue a defamation case. But it's not likely to go very well. The person being accused merely has to show that they believed that what they said about you was true.

                      And yes, we often add new info to the reason for termination if it is discovered after the person was termed. If I fire someone for stealing $10, and after they go we discover that they actually took $100, I'm adding that to the paperwork I have, and making sure Unemployment has the info on the $100.
                      Last edited by TSCompliance; 05-05-2010, 09:14 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        TSCompliance, as I can't write many things I am unable to depict the entire situation but I really enjoyed your logic and in fact learned many things -- you are an awesome person -- so, salute to you.
                        Have a great & wonderful time.

                        Comment

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