California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
Good morning Rosemarie,I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I have represented nurses in actions involving hospitals and nursing facilities on many occasions, and my wife is a nurse, so I understand how the health care employment situation is. I have also had dealings with the Richmond Kaiser facility in years past.In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.1. You say that you are a visiting nurse. Does that mean you are visiting from another Kaiser Facility, or do you mean that you are there on a travel assignment?2. If you are traveling, have you discussed this issue with your travel company and determined whether leaving in mid-contract will be held against you?Doug
I don't know if you received my reply.
I'm a Home Health Nurse employed by Kaiser Permanent.
Attorney, I know you're a busy person. I needed your phone number just in case we're cut off.
In CA, employees are presumed to be "at will." At-will employees may be terminated for any reason—at any time, even a mistaken reason, they can have their hours or pay decreased and they can suffer a cut in their benefits, so long as it's not illegal or unlawfully discriminatory.
Unlawful discrimination would include an employer discriminating based upon a person’s Ethnicity, Color, Religion, National Origin, Gender or Disability.
The fact that no harm came to either of your patients does not act as a legal defense to being terminated. And so yes, Kaiser may legally terminate you based on the 2 minor errors.
The bigger issue at this point is whether toy choose to resign or be terminated---arguably for cause based on the errors.
If you are terminated, you will have to explain the termination to future employers---and that could be problematic. because you did make these errors, and despite the fact that no harm came to the patients---Kaiser will argue that it could have and that the termination was for good cause. This, if accepted by EDD would prevent you from being eligible for unemployment benefits.
Resignation would allow you the greater ability to avoid the stigma of having been let go by an employer, and will definitely look better on your resume.
In the meeting you might propose something a but different than just resignation or termination. Discuss with the a third option of what in CA is known as a Mutually Agreed Separation. This is still a resignation for your resume, however, it will also mean that you will qualify for unemployment benefits while you are searching for a new position. A Mutually Agreed Separation is seen as an agreement between you and the employer that things are not working as either of you had hoped for, and without any assignment of wrongdoing, it is simply agreed that you will leave. Here is a link to the EDD regulations dealing with this method of departure. Refer to Section F:
So, you have several options, but many find that where termination is pending, than a Mutually Agreed Separation is the best way to go. Just be sure if you work this out, that you get in writing from the employer that there has been an agreement reached and that they acknowledge that your leaving is based on a Mutually Agreed Separation.
You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction. Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed. I wish you the best in 2013,Doug
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