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Our employee has written an anuthorized prescription to a non

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Our employee has written an anuthorized prescription to a non patient. How big of an offense is that. She is an LVN.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

1. Was a doctor's signature forged, or was the LVN given access to pre-signed scripts?
2. As for the penalties, are you interested in those against the LVN or against the doctor/clinic?
3. What was the drug prescribed?

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

1. The prescription was called in. Our employees are allowed to call in Rx for our patients but not for anyone who is not a patient. She called it in for her mother - antibiotic. I wouldn't have known of it but the pharmacy caller regarding allergies.


2. Against the LVN, she is currently pregnant and we are worried that terminating for any reason may still be an issue. She has had a few issues in the past nothing of this magnitude


 


 

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

Thank you for the additional information.

Fortunately, as the script was called in without authorization, the clinic and the physician are at no risk of civil or criminal liability.

However, the LVN violated the law by prescribing without a license or actual authority. This is a very serious violation---both of the law and of the obligation to follow company policy. Pregnant or not, this employee may be immediately terminated for cause. She will have no legal recourse against the employer based on her pregnancy.

Additionally, under the circumstances, this is something that should be reported to the state Board of Nursing, as well as to local police.

You are free to terminate her based on this intentional and egregious sort of misconduct.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you tell me.


Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time in assisting you. Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and contact me with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to address your concerns to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Just one more quick question. Can we write her up now and fire in say 2 weeks when we figure things out with replacement or would you advise immediate action?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
I would never advise a client to continue to allow an employee caught issuing scripts on their own to allow them to continue to work until a replacement is found. That is asking for trouble. The employee should be immediately relieved of duty, terminated, paid for their time up the point of termination and sent home.

Doug
LawTalk, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28001
Experience: 30 years legal experience
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hello Doug,


We did fire our emploee in the last few days as we would have a very hard time in the office but will do it on Monday. I know this is against your advice. Since she will be a new mom and she is a best friend of our star employee, we would rather not report her to the state nursing board or the police. If we don't report her, is there another way we can protect ourselves if she were to come back and say we fired her for being pregnant?


From one end we want to protect ourselves but from another we don't want to harm her either. She is not a malicious person.


So far we thought we would have her sign our normal discharge paperwork where we would write:


Discharged on Jan. 7 For unauthorized calling in a prescription for a non-patient.


Is that sufficient? Can we tell her that if she does intent to sue we will report her then or will it not hold up after the time has elapsed. And they could ask why didn't we do it in the first place?


 


Sorry for all the questions but it is rather tricky for us.


 


I'm more than happy to pay for your advice.


Jola

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning Jola,

I'm glad to help if I can.

You asked: Since she will be a new mom and she is a best friend of our star employee, we would rather not report her to the state nursing board or the police. If we don't report her, is there another way we can protect ourselves if she were to come back and say we fired her for being pregnant? Yes, all you can do is clearly document everything in writing. Provide her with a written statement as to why she is being terminated. You can't make her sign it, or agree with it, but give it to her never-the-less so she knows exactly why she is being fired. Indicate that she violated the law, violated company policy and placed her employer in a very bad light by calling in a script on someone who was not a patient of the facility.

I can't see any discrimination attorney ever taking her case on, even if she did want to try and claim she was let go because she was pregnant. However, do not threaten to report her if she does sue. You may say that the doctor has decided not to report her to the nursing board, and leave it at that.

I wish you success in your career.

Doug
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Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28001
Experience: 30 years legal experience
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