I'm in precarious position-just began my new job in the clinical research field a month ago. Been doing this as a career for about 10yrs. I'm uncomfortable with the way this clinic is run as far as some patient safety and FDA rule issues. I've tried to bring some of my concerns up to my boss and it was not received well. She is prideful and seems to think it is me that is in the wrong. I've been told that I am not performing my job up to the expectations I was hired for, at my salary. They've decreased my salary by 13K, 7K less than my last job. I believe I'll be fired soon. Will I qualify for unemployment? My last employer felt I was a great employee and told me she'd rehire me if they had a spot. I explained some examples of what was going on to my ex-boss & she advised that I get out of there asap. I don't want to be a whistle blower but I also don't want to continue working where I feel like I could get in trouble by association, yet need the income.
State/Country relating to question: Colorado
Only searching for a new job because I need to keep this job until I have a new one in place, due to finances. I feel like they are trying to make my job unpleasant enough to get me to quit. Currently, I'm trying to be as professional, pleasant and meet the expectations of my current employer to keep the peace long enough to find other employment.
As far as the possible wrong-doings of my employer, even after I find new employment, I don't want to whistle blow because how can I prove it.
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Hi,My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.We have recently implemented a new payment and feedback system. Please be aware that you are rating my courtesy and service as a professional, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. If you have any questions at all, or there is anything I can clarify for you, please bypass the rating system and click “Continue the Conversation” or "Reply". Choosing either of the lowest two options reflects poorly on me (and not the law), so please reply to me if there is anything I can do to help before choosing those options. I appreciate your patience while we work out the kinks.Federal law does prohibit an employer from taking negative action against an employee for reporting something that the employee reasonably believes is a violation of the law, or rules and regulations. That means that they cannot decrease your salary (even if you were wrong, if you had a reasonable belief that you were right). Title 5, United States Code, Section 2302. They are also not permitted to fire you. You would have a right to sue for reinstatement and Back Pay. You would have to establish that, more likely than not, the action was taken as a result of your reporting the issues to your supervisor. You also cannot be fired for reporting the violations to the appropriate government agency. I understand your reservations against actually contacting the agency, but it may be the best way to protect yourself in this situation. I don't know the specifics of your job, but it could also help you protect other people, because these regulations are put in place for a reason.As far as unemployment goes, you are eligible if you are found to be involuntarily unemployed. You should be prepared to fight any reason that your employer gives for letting you go. If you're let go illegally, and you later win a judgment against the company that included back pay, you would have to repay any amounts you got from unemployment. One thing you might want to consider is hiring an attorney to send to your employer, letting her know that you'll file suit under the Whistle blower statute if she does not reinstate your salary to its prior level. That will also help establish a paper trail, if she tries to take action against you down the road. A good place to look for a local attorney is http://www.martindale.com. The statute says that you're entitled to recoup your attorneys fees if you wind up having to take legal action.Good luck.
Great help Lucy. Thanks but a few f/u questions please.
I'm sorry. I do understand your concerns, and I hope you rethink the decision not to fight, because the law allows you to hire an attorney at her expense, and get reimbursed for it when you win the case.With that said, if she terminates you for cause, you wouldn't be able to collect unemployment. It's going to depend on what she tells them. You should file, because you're not going to be unemployed through anything you did. If she disputes it, you'll be able to request a hearing. Typically, if it's a personality conflict, that's not your fault, and you could get unemployment. But there are also requirements for time in the job - Colorado requires that you earned at least $2,500 during the relevant base period. It doesn't seem like that's going to be an issue.http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDLE-UnempBenefits/CDLE/1251619773214
Your answers are exactly what I needed to know and more. Thank you. I only have one more question that I can think of now, please. Do you know if it would be allowable to use copies of pages from a couple of our subject's charts as proof of some of the things that I've found to be illegal in a court/trial or whatever if may come to if it did? They have no patient identifiers except the patients' 3 letter initials.
Yes. Records of regularly recorded business activities are allowed in court as an exception to the hearsay rule. Even if they had patient identifiers, they wouldn't stop them being used - sensitive information can always be blacked out.
Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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