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Nurse threatens litigation following termination

It takes a special temperament and personality to work as a nurse in a nursing home facility. These caregivers are tasked with the physically and emotionally difficult task of caring for those who are no longer to do so themselves. Often, nurses in California are required to be the voice and advocate of their patients, ensuring that they are heard and given an appropriate response. Unfortunately, a nurse in another state may turn to litigation after she was fired for insisting that a patient's assault claims were reported to police.

The incident involves the alleged rape of a nursing home patient. The victim claims that a nursing home aide assaulted her while assisting her to the bathroom. When she reported the claims, officials at the facility where she resided, The Brian Center, were reluctant to contact police. However, the nurse who supervised the aide insisted that police be notified, sparking an investigation that led to criminal charges and a conviction. The man received a 23-year prison sentence.

Following the accusation, other women in the same facility came forward, and accusations previously made against the man when he was employed at other facilities came to light. Many of these alleged victims had reported that they were assaulted, but their claims were dismissed because they could not be substantiated, and the women were considered unreliable witnesses. However, at least eight different women have accused the man. Although he may have never been charged without the nurse who was committed to contacting police, she was fired soon afterward. According to the nurse, she is unlikely to find employment at another nursing home facility because most are unwilling to hire someone deemed a whistle-blower.

As a result of her termination, the nurse is considering her options to help ensure that nursing homes realize they cannot force nurses out of their positions for unethical reasons. Many in California have similarly found themselves the victims of wrongful termination -- fired from their jobs for simply making a decision based on ethics and morals. An attorney with experience with business law can often help these victims, through litigation, seek to hold accountable employers who would fire someone for trying to right an injustice.

Source: CNN, "No one believed he would rape nursing home residents. Now he is going to prison", Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, Aug. 20, 2017

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