I am new here. I am a female in Louisiana with my CCL. I have an issue that happened to me at work and I'd love an opinion. I am a Registered Nurse working in downtown New Orleans. I was terminated from my job for retaliation over an issue involving a firearm. I found that some of the people in my unit were opposed to guns. Some of them made comments at lunch about how they think that people shouldn't be allowed to have guns. It came up that I had one and so did another guy. People were asking me questions and I politely tried to divert them. I had some words with a supervisor one day because they took our cell phones away on the job. My doctor was trying to call me about my lab results and I asked to keep the phone and she said no. I told her that I felt it was unfair but I put it in my locker.
A week later I was in a procedure with a patient and I was called out to go to the supervisor's office immediately. She got me in there and closed the door and told me that someone told her that I said that I was going to bring a gun to work and shoot everyone. Anyone who knows me and my gun safety and responsibility knows that is something I would never do or say in a million years. I was so shocked and stunned that I started crying and of course said that it was false, and that I would never do that. She told me to stop crying and that she was going to "investigate" to find out who made the accusation.
There were no witnesses to this discussion and it happened late on a Friday afternoon. I went home and was freaked out all day on Saturday because I was afraid the police would be showing up at my door. The crazy thing is that I am actually trying to become a police officer next year. I called a friend who is the police commander of my district and told her what happened. She suggested that I lock my guns up at her home until it was settled. She also told me to go to the hospital police and make a complaint. I did that first thing on Monday morning. The hospital police told me that they knew NOTHING about this accusation. All of this happened 20 days after that psycho in AZ shot up all those people. The hospital police found it totally inappropriate that they were not notified by someone in my department regarding this. The idea of a possible workplace violence threat is serious-even if it is totally false. It should have been reported to them and they should have been present when she accused me.
I went to her boss and complained and she did nothing. The woman's idea of an "investigation" was to spread the accusation among all the staff so that my coworkers were all acting afraid of me and no one would speak to me-hostile work environment. The hospital police suggested that I complain to HR for a hostile work environment and that's what I did. The HR lady was nasty on the phone and told me that "guns have nothing to do with this". All the supervisors and the head nurse refused to address my concerns about what amounts to defamation of character, over this false accusation. I told them that I was prepared to obtain representation to clear my name. At that point I was told that the issue would be dropped because the accusation was heresay and that it was never to be discussed again.
They neglected to tell me that I had 7 days to file a grievance over the accusation. The head nurse told me that "we won't be offended if you feel you need to go find another place to work". I already had job apps out for a month prior to this occurence due to unsafe practices in our dept. I filled out more job apps but wasn't getting responses. Two weeks later I was in a procedure with a patient and another RN who was best friends with woman who made the gun accusation. This patient was on a respirator and was acting wild and the MD told me to sedate him better so he could do the procedure. I followed his order and we finished the procedure w/o incident. The next day I am called into the VP's office and told that I was to leave because I was under investigation. This other nurse in the room told her that I gave a sedation drug illegally beyond my scope of practice, which again, was COMPLETELY untrue.
I was fired 4 days later. They had the option on this "alleged" offense to give a verbal warning, written warning, counseling, probation, and then termination. They skipped all other minor disciplinary actions and terminated me saying that I violated sedation policy. I asked for a copy of the policy and they refused to give it to me. I also asked for a copy of my SATISFACTORY performance review from the prior month and they refused. They denied me unemployment and have blackballed me with all the hospitals in the city and no one will hire me for a full time position. I have had to appeal the unemployment and the hearing is Tuesday. I have gone months w/o paying many of my bills because I ran out of my money and my credit score is in the toilet, and I am faced with possibly having my truck repossessed and being evicted from my apartment.
The temp job that I have requires me to drive an hour each way and I am lucky to get two shifts a week. I can't live like this. I had an interview on Monday and I was sure I was going to get an offer but they checked references. The hospital won't say anything to a reference but refers them to an outside agency that will tell them that I was terminated for cause and that I am ineligible for re-hire. That is the ONLY reason that I could have not gotten the job and I got a rejection letter today. Someone please tell me how an ICU nurse with 10 years of experience and an impeccable reputation with great references be in this position? I can't find anyone who will take this case seriously. This people are ruining my life. They hijacked a career that I worked hard for.