Does my former employer have the right to note on my record that I abandoned my job? How long does this stay on my record?

By | 2022-02-11T11:20:07-05:00 January 20th, 2010|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

Almost three years ago I quit my job without a two-week notice. Let me give you some background information as to why.

I was scheduled to work a Saturday night shift, but I wasn’t feeling well so I called myself off around noon (my shift didn’t start until 7 p.m.). The “acting” manager for the weekend called me. I didn’t make it to the phone, so the machine picked up. I was lying in bed, and all of a sudden I heard someone yelling at me and demanding that I report to work that evening. I was so upset I called work and told them that, basically, I didn’t have to take that kind of “abuse” when I followed the correct procedure according to our policy. I was upset by what had just transpired, so I quit.

I do not think the way I went about things was OK, but I have since been listed as “job abandonment.” I found this out when I was offered employment at another local hospital only to have them revoke the offer after this finding. Do they have the right to list me as “job abandonment,” and how long does it stay on my record?

I contacted a lawyer, and he suggested that I write a letter to the human resources director, which I have done without results. I have had to get a job as a travel nurse just to be able to help pay the bills. I am tired of being away from my family in order to have a job. I want to be able to live where my family lives and work locally.

There are so many nurses that are caught stealing patients’ narcotics or being on the job under the influence, and they get to keep their jobs as long as they enter a program! It doesn’t seem fair to me. Do you have any suggestions?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Lisa,

For this question I consulted human resources expert Fred J. DiCostanzo, RN, MA, executive vice president, human resources, Gannett Healthcare Group. Here’s what he had to say: “In general, organizations have policies that require employees to provide advance notice of resignation. It sounds like this nurse left the job without giving the proper notice. The hospital [managers are] within their rights to share this information in a job reference as long as they are acting in accordance with all applicable laws; they are following their own documented policy for job references; and they are providing accurate information.

“Rather than resign, the nurse should have reported the situation to her supervisor and/or the human resources department. Very often, these situations can be resolved through open discussion with the parties involved. At this juncture, I would suggest that the nurse contact the HR department to offer some explanation for her actions. Perhaps some compromise can be reached once the organization has all the facts.”

Best wishes,


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