A nurse from Texas with over two decades of experience recently filed a civil suit against a local hospital. The lawsuit states the hospital moved forward with illegal retaliation when officials decided to fire the nurse for making complaints about patient safety within the facility. Here is a timeline of how the issue progressed:
- Anonymous complaint. The nurse began his attempts to advocate for patient safety by reaching out to the Joint Commission, an independent body the facility used for accreditation. The complaint led to an inspection, which did not result in change. When this failed, the nurse next reached out to the employer’s compliance hotline to file a second anonymous complaint.
- Resignation. After filing two separate complaints, the nurse put in a letter of resignation. Upon receiving this resignation, the company’s Chief Clinical Officer reached out to the nurse. The hospital official discussed making changes within the facility and asked if these changes would be enough to make the nurse retract his letter of resignation. The nurse agreed to stay as long as the official followed through and made the proposed changes.
- Disclosure. The nurse disclosed to the Chief Clinical Officer that he was responsible for the anonymous complaints.
- Increased scrutiny. Upon receiving this information, the nurse states the Chief Clinical Officer began overly scrutinizing his work. He was suspended twice and ultimately fired, allegedly for violating company policy.
The nurse is using the legal system to hold the facility accountable, seeking reinstatement or severance pay and compensation for lost pay as a result of the termination of employment as well as damages for mental anguish and pain and suffering as well as expenses to cover court cots and attorney fees.