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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5044
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I am a case manager for an outpatient clinic of a private

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I am a case manager for an outpatient clinic of a private rural hospital. My contract is for 8 hours per day on a 40 hour per week basis and is non exempt. It is a new position in the hospital. I am the first person that they ever had for this position. I have worked for them since April 2013. Last August 23, 2013 , I became a permanent employee. I have been a nurse for 20 years. I have held a management post before for 5 years. Since I started with this job, I have been having positive feedbacks from the CEO, Medical Director and Board of Trustees for doing an exceptional job performance. Now, I am encountering problems in this place.

The interim manager for pharmacy wrote me up for not giving her the insulin log book and I got a verbal counselling for that because she got upset and she got scared that we will lose the program. My interim manager counselled me because the Chief Clinical Officer and the Interim Pharmacist Manager told her to write me up.

1. The insulin program is on a pilot study phase and there is no existing guidelines or policies in place. The policy still needs to go to the committee for approval and risk management and BETA group to be reviewed.
2. I am not a pharmacist and by law I can not dispense those prescriptions. It is the pharmacist job to maintain the log book as she was dispensing. I was told to keep a copy for myself. The committee was still in the process of creating a workflow.
3. She asked for the copy of the log on 2 occasions:
a. on the parking lot on my way to the clinic- Pharmacist: Can you give me the copy of the logbook" My Response :" Yes , I will when I have the time."
b. on the hallway of the hospital as I was going to get my lunch
Pharmacist : "I need the copy of the log book"
Response: " Yes , I will give it to you once I am free dealing with my patients"

My questions are:
1. Was the write -up and counselling acceptable in terms of employment and labour law?
My stand is that I did not violate any guidelines or policies, it was a single occurence, it was not a repetitive behaviour nor there was any documented occurrences before that, nor was a deadline given or timeframe that I did not comply with the request nor did I compromise patient care.

2. Am I right in my assumption that it is a misuse of the write -up form since her problem is a personal one?
Getting upset and being unable to handle her emotions is not my problem but hers and she should be counselled for that. Her failure to communicate properly, to delegate properly and the CCO's and her lack of experience in dealing with management should not be my burden. She needs to be educated. She was the one who was unprofessional in her dealings with me. That problem could have been resolve between the two of us and it should not have been elevated to HR.

The Chief Clinical Officer is new in the position, never held a managerial job, was a laboratory Technician before and therefore under the TITLE TWENTY TWO of California Law is not allowed to supervise any RN or licensed clinical staff as he does not meet the requirements that the law requires.

The interim manager for pharmacy never held a managerial post before.

My interim manager for case management has only held this job for 6 months and does not have any managerial experience before her current post.

3. Am I right to assume that the pharmacist was unprofessional in her dealings and approaching me in the parking lot and the hallway constitutes harassment?

4. Am I in a position to ask for it to be removed from my file as it should not have been a write up in the first place as there was no basis for it?


The second write up was misuse of time, unprofessional behaviour and failure to follow the guidelines and procedure and poor time management.

Am I right to disagree with them?
Can I contest it ?
What legal grounds can I rebutt these accusations.

1. Their basis of misuse of time was because I over extended beyond my 8 hour shift. My required times are 8 am to 430 pm.

My job is to see these patients and refer them to the appropriate resources in the community, to comply and adhere to their treatment plans, not miss their physician appointments and to make sure that they do not inappropriately use the emergency services. There are a lot of walk -ins in the clinics and most of the time the physicians will give me patients till 5:30. These patients have complex needs- social, medical, financial issues. It is hard to reach them as they give us different names, fake social security numbers, wrong phone numbers or their phones do not have any voicemails, or when I call them at home they blatantly lie to my face that they are not there. The other issue as well is that they work in the fields from 4:30 am till 5-6 pm , they can not make it before those times except either at 6 pm otill 7:30 pm. Other issues include childcare and transport issues. The manager, the CCO were made aware of these issues.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.


I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.


Can you tell me if you are an at-will employee, have a contract with your employer, or are a member of a union?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am an at will employee.


I do have a contract with my employer.


The hospital is non-unionized.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can you point out to me where the misuse is and its definition in terms of labour law ?


I corrected the timecard and signed that I did not want to incur overtime and the manager approved it.


 


I can not open the patient's chart if I clock out because then I would have ended up with a HIPAA violation which is even worse.


 


When did I display unprofessionalism?


I went above and beyond my duty of care to those patients.


 


Yes, it's true that I did not follow her instructions to say no that I could not see them at that time and too rebook them.


 


I can not say that in front of the patient, it seems to me like abandonment and poor customer service and they did not provide me an alternative or a person to hand off the patient. They do not have provisions for that.


 


If, I did not see them at that time, my workload will double-up and I will be forever be behind as I will be chasing and looking for those patients and when the PI time comes I will have no outcomes to show for and then they will get me on that in my performance evaluation.


 


Where is the time management issue?


My workload is huge and to review 2 volumes of charts per patient is not humanly feasible to accomplish in an hour and to deal with the patient and other factors..


 


Was I wrong to accept the CCO's words in good faith when he asked me about my schedule and I told him that let us track it be so we can determine the needs of our population group?


 


It was quite surprising to be given a verbal counselling before the meeting was set -up to discuss the issue and to find a solution.


 


I think it was handled inappropriately and I dont deserve to be the guinea pig for a management experiment nor my life and career to be shaken just because of poor judgement , lack of management skills or inexperience of these people.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

In answer to your questions above in order:

1) 1. Was the write -up and counselling acceptable in terms of employment and labour law?

Yes, it was, unfortunately. As an at-will employee, you can be disciplined at any time for any reason (even a bad or false one) with or without any prior notice.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, which states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at
the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a
specified term means an employment for a period greater than one
month."

So, unfortunately, regardless of the accuracy or validity of the write-up, as an at-will employee, any write-up (short of one based on discrimination due to a protected characteristic) is legitimate.


2)Am I right in my assumption that it is a misuse of the write -up form since her problem is a personal one?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this, but as I mentioned, as an at-will employee you can be disciplined at any time for any reason, even if the basis is actually her inability to control her temper.

3. Am I right to assume that the pharmacist was unprofessional in her dealings and approaching me in the parking lot and the hallway constitutes harassment?

Again, yes, but it, but it is not illegal.

4. Am I in a position to ask for it to be removed from my file as it should not have been a write up in the first place as there was no basis for it?


You can definitely request your employer to do so, but they are under no obligation to have the false write-up eliminated from your report.

I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get paid for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!



Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5044
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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