I was fired from a hospital RN job without cause. I disagreed with the unit manager and was seeking employment in another area of the hospital. My manager terminated me. Then, after working several years in another job that has subsequently been eliminated, I am having difficulty getting hired. I believe my old manager wrote something on my file. The hospital had a closed file policy, and I was denied an exit interview. What is my next step?
Dear Nancy replies:
Your next step should be to consult with a nurse attorney or other attorney in your state who works with employees in the area of employment law. The attorney will be able to advise you on the concerns you have, including the closed file policy and the denial of an exit interview.
Several issues may be central to your firing and your attorney will want to evaluate them as well as other issues. As examples, is everyone who is fired denied an exit interview or does the facility policy say every employee who leaves the facility, regardless of the reason, gets an exit interview? What was the disagreement about with your manager? Was it about patient care issues, how staff were treated or some procedural concern on the unit (e.g. documentation on medication records)? Were you raising an issue that could have been seen by your manager as threatening to her position and reputation?
You should seek the consultation as soon as you can so that if something has been said about you that is not true or your employment file has contents in it that may cause your difficulties in being hired elsewhere, it can be rectified.
Also, it is important to ascertain if your firing was a violation of a state or federal law prohibiting such a firing, such as it being based on your religion, age or in retaliation for a work-related issue you raised.