Austin Employment Attorney Comments on Nurse’s Lawsuit Over Termination
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 22, 2013 – A nurse has sued her former employer, saying she was fired for reporting patient neglect.
Susan J. Rapp, a licensed vocational nurse who worked for Maxim Healthcare Services Inc., has filed a lawsuit against the company. Rapp claims that she was terminated after she reported another nurse’s neglect of a patient to her supervisors. Maxim Healthcare is an in-home health care provider.
“The State of Texas has stringent laws to protect healthcare workers from certain forms of retaliation,” said Austin employment attorney Gregory D. Jordan. “One goal is to protect patients by preventing retaliation against workers that report substandard care.”
According to the lawsuit, Rapp was assigned to provide nursing services during the late shift at a patient’s home. She claims she found that the day shift nurse repeatedly failed to provide the patient with proper care. Rapp claims that she reported the neglect to her supervisors, but the situation was not resolved and she was instructed not to document what she had observed in the patient’s medical records. Rapp was terminated approximately two weeks later, allegedly for unprofessional behavior, inappropriate documentation in medical records, and crossing professional boundaries.
Austin employment lawyer Jordan notes, “Where substandard care is allegedly involved, any form of retaliation against the reporting individual should be dealt with swiftly and firmly.”
The lawsuit was filed in Denton County District Court, and the defendant removed it to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.
Although Rapp’s original complaint alleged violation of the Texas Health & Safety Code, the amended complaint alleges violation of the Texas Occupations Code. Rapp claims to have made a report required or authorized, or reasonably believed to be required or authorized, by the Code, and to be protected from retaliation under its provisions.
The amended complaint requests damages for mental anguish, exemplary damages, court costs, attorney’s fees and compensation for lost wages. Rapp also requests reinstatement to her former position or three months’ severance pay.
The Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan has handled many business and employment disputes involving non-compete agreements, unfair competition, confidentiality agreements and breaches of contract. To learn more visit, http://www.theaustintriallawyer.com.
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