I was recently fired from my job. I dont think it was fair, but I dont feel like I have any recourse. I dont have money for a lawyer. Do you have any other suggestions?
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Recently Fired,
If you believe you were unfairly terminated, you might be able to file a grievance with the human resource department at the facility from which you were terminated. Contact them to learn about the procedure. Depending on the circumstances of the termination and what you think was unfair (i.e. the employer didnt follow their written termination policy), you may be able to get help from the labor board in your state. Do an Internet search for [your state] labor board to find them and make a phone call. They have counselors that will listen to your story and advise you.
Regarding consulting with an attorney, while many nurses assume they cant afford one, sometimes you cant afford not to consult an attorney. Remember, your livelihood and reputation are at stake here, and in some cases your license, depending on the circumstances. A nurse attorney is uniquely qualified to represent nurses in cases like this. Sometimes a one-hour consultation will be helpful and can cost a few hundred dollars. That is a small price to pay when you consider the bigger picture. You might also be able to negotiate a payment plan with her/him. So dont discount this avenue. Find a nurse attorney by asking around, getting a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (whether or not you are a member), and through The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org).