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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Was this Traveling Nurse Fired for Reporting Safety Issues?

By Dan Atkerson on November 16, 2016

Female Doctor Looking At BusinessmanA traveling nurse is accusing HCA Health Services of Texas of wrongful termination, after she was allegedly fired for reporting patient safety issues.

Ganesa Rosales is a Los Angeles nurse who moved to Texas as part of her contract with the American Mobile Network. She was serving a 13-week contract in a geriatric psych unit, taking care of older patients.

According to the lawsuit, Rosales told the organization that two of the patients were at risk of falling and hurting themselves, but was ignored. She also alleges that she noticed nurses neglecting a crying cancer patient who continually asked for help.

Despite attempts to communicate with management, she says that nothing changed. Over the course of her time at the HCA, she filed ten different safety complaints.

After she repeatedly asked for better care for patients, Rosales alleges that her employer demanded a drug test without giving a reason. She agreed to take the test, but was suspended from work pending its results. After the drug test came back negative, she was fired from her position anyway.

Rosales and her lawyers are claiming that she was wrongfully terminated because of her attempts to get the company to comply with safety standards.

Wrongful Termination is Against the Law

Firing a medical employee for whistleblowing is a form of wrongful termination and it is against the law. Other forms of wrongful termination would include firing an employee for making a wage claim, reporting discrimination or serving in the military.

Sometimes it can be difficult to build a wrongful termination case, since employers might create false reasons for firing their employees. This is what is known as defamation of character. If this woman’s case is true, it appears that the drug tests was meant to serve as the supposed reason for her termination.

No one should ever be punished for asserting their rights or looking out for the safety of others. Part of why these laws exist in the first place is so employees feel free to stand up and drawn attention to bad behavior.

Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment lawyer who fights passionately on behalf of victims of wrongful termination, racial discrimination and other forms of workplace injustice.

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