My employer wants to fire me because I accidentally took home a cabinet key. How can I address this situation?

By | 2022-02-11T11:12:25-05:00 October 27th, 2009|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I am an RN currently on family leave because of my husband’s surgery and complication of complete renal failure. The administration at my facility wanted me to come in for a meeting. I was obliquely informed this meeting is to “let me go.” The reason they want to let me go is related to a cabinet key incident. I accidentally took the key home, and it ended up in my purse. I admit I made a mistake, but there have been no property losses or other issues related to this key. I would love your advice on this situation. The facility is a community hospital that prides itself on its Magnet status.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Vanessa,

It sounds like the meeting did not yet happen. But if it did or presuming you do get let go because of this incident, ask if you can appeal the decision. Many employers have such a provision, but it depends on the reason for your termination and what your employer’s policies are.

I also will say that if you believe you are being treated unfairly, you should seek the advice of a nurse attorney. A nurse attorney has unique insights into both the law and nursing practice. Find such an attorney through word of mouth, by getting a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (whether or not you are a member), or through the American Association of Nurse Attorneys (, although every nurse attorney does not belong to this association. You can also pose your question to Nancy Brent, a legal nurse consultant and legal advice columnist, by clicking on “Brent’s Law” under the News tab at the home page.

My best wishes,


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