No Good Employee Shall Go Unpunished
(Elgin, Illinois USA)
I was a 17 1/2 year employee at a hospital. I always got great evaluations and never thought that my job was in danger. I have received hundreds of accolades from patients, higher management, employees and doctors for my care.
I am educated, well spoken and very knowledgable in my field. My patients have often commented on this and found it to be both helpful and comforting.
I have been passed over for promotion many times, not allowed to cross train in other areas to be of better service to my department and have been subjected to ridicule with no recourse.
I am one of two people in my department that have actually gotten a college degree. I have learned over the years to not talk about this and not say too much about anything because of how others feel about it.
Over the past several years, I had a coworker who routinely slandered me and encouraged other workers to engage in mobbing and bullying behavior. I know that she did this because I did more work than she did, that the doctors liked me more and that my patients liked me as much or more than they did her.
I went to management about this, but they were so intimidated by her bullying, that they just didn't seem to be able to reign her in. In time, they decided to discipline me in an effort to make me stop trying to hold them responsible and accountable to their own policies and procedures regarding this behavior.
This employee also violated my confidential medical information when I had surgery a few years ago in an effort to defame me in front of my coworkers. By law, this is a clear violation of HIPPA for the sole reason of malice. By law, this is not only a jailable offence, but also finable to the tune of thousands of dollars. The hospital would also have to take action in order to protect itself from sanctions.
When I turned this employee in, they just swept it under the rug and made it clear that I was to stop trying to make them do the right thing. I knew that if I turned them into the feds, I'd lose my job. As a single parent, I got the message and shut my mouth.
A couple of years later, a new supervisor came on board. She knew that I was the one who should have gotten the job and didn't because of politics. She also knew that I had a degree, had done this work even longer than she had and had had a management position in the past. Because she had no college education, she decided instantly that I was an enemy and proceeded to turn management against me. I took the micromanagement, criticsm and the endless stories of her personal issues and melodrama without comment or reaction.
When her own performance came under fire, she decided to turn the attention away from her on to me instead. She set up a series of circumstances that ultimately led to my being fired.
She never once followed hospital policy and procedure. I never broke one rule. I never disobeyed instructions. She even admitted in front of management that because she got mad at me one day, she deliberately went looking for anything and everything that she could possibly use to get me written up and disciplined.
Management never batted an eye at what she said. I was subsequently written up without benefit of verbal warning. This happened because there never really was anything by policy that I could be warned about. I was written up under a lot of generalizations that could never be adequately substantiated.
She proceeded to "find" other things to the point that I was told that literally one more thing would result in my termination. Again, not one of these so-called infractions were anything that were against hospital policy or departmental policy, but that was overlooked by management and Human Resources.
Well, the one more thing happened. Someone failed to procure an order for a patient's examination. I had no reason to suspect that there wasn't an order and when I later discovered that it was never provided and took action to get it and make sure that all paperwork was in order, I was the one disciplined for another's mistake. Three days later, I was terminated for this.
Nobody thought about the fact that I always had stellar evaluations and never had issues with following policy and procedure. In thirty years of health care, I never, ever disobeyed orders or did anything that could even remotely be determined as detrimental to a patient or coworker.
I realized that management will always back management, regardless of how wrong they are. Because I work in an "at will" state, I have no real recourse for litigation, because one can be fired for anything and it can be made to stick.
Because of the lies and mechinations of dishonest coworkers, I have lost my job and the possibility of future employment. I can't even get unemployement because they are claiming misconduct, even though it was deemed "performance" issues by management. Regardless of documentation produced to obtain unemployment, the state backs the hospital's decision.
I am going to lose my home and everything that I own.
Thanks for listening to my story.