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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 16370
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I am a nurse at a university hospital in Dallas. We have a

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I am a nurse at a university hospital in Dallas. We have a new nurse manager in and she has a pledge that we arThee required to sign. It is common sense related to the role of a nurse and the dedication required to make it a life-long commitment; however, there are a special group that has consistently challenged the role and shift timeliness without discipline. Behavior and attendance is addressed in the pledge. Is this information not covered by general university hiring and retention and the license standards set by the TX BNE? Can she require us to sign this? Also, I work a weekend incentive program that has a rigid contract. We are only permitted 6 or 9 shift requests per year, more scrutiny for sick calls, etc. we are compensated with differential pay to work every 2 or 3 day weekend. The hospital work setting has always been challenging as many other large volume employment settings that have a diverse population. "Facebooking" is popular and personal computer use. Smoking is not permitted on grounds, yet I am exposed to the smell as our smokers return to the work area. Confused? Me, too!

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Is this a public or private hospital? That is, is your employer the State of Texas or the City / County of Dallas? Or is it a private, non-governmental entity?

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you see my follow up question to your issue?

ScottyMacEsq :

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

ScottyMacEsq :

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. Once you respond to my follow up question, I will respond as soon as I can. Please note that I may be assisting other customers or otherwise out of the office (depending when you respond). Thank you.

Customer:

UTSW in Dallas.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you. First of all, this pledge sounds like an "informal" pledge, essentially an acknowledgement of what is expected of you at this location. It would be difficult for her to use it against you should you "break" the pledge as a basis to terminate, although the underlying action that constituted the breach of the pledge could potentially be used.

ScottyMacEsq :

Likewise, you don't have to sign the pledge, although refusing to could, potentially be determined to be insubordination if there is no valid basis to object (such as freedom of speech, religion, etc... grounds).

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes, this information would otherwise be covered by those other standards, but again, this would be informal and would not really be binding. I don't see any harm in signing such a document if the content itself would be unobjectionable, as it would merely be a recognition of the expectations.

ScottyMacEsq :

As for the contract, I'm not certain that you even asked a question there, but if this is something that you agreed to, then contractually it would be what you have to do, and there's nothing in the statutes that would say that it was illegal to require them.

ScottyMacEsq :

As for the smoking, "carryover" smoke, if not addressed in the policies themselves, would not be "actionable", so long as the employees were not actually smoking on the grounds.

ScottyMacEsq :

Only the terms of the policies could be actionable by you.

ScottyMacEsq :

Being an employee of UTSW, you have additional rights that employees at private hospitals would not have, but not a lot of additional rights. In short, you can't just be terminated for any reason, but rather have a right to be terminated "for cause". That means cause related to your work.

ScottyMacEsq :

That's why I brought up "insubordination". That could be such a cause based reason to terminate

ScottyMacEsq :

If this was a private employer, they could terminate you for any reason, so long as it was not illegal (based on your race, age, religion, gender, or disability).

Customer:

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX response. Life as a nurse is just becoming very challenging with all the distractions of technology and potential patient neglect. I've seen Group One used related to personality conflict and inconsistency of enforcement of rules. I feel harassed at times. Like they try to push older staff to quit.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate this answer either a 3, 4, or 5 (good or better). Please note that I do not get any credit for this answer unless and until you rate it that way. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

(and I understand the life of a nurse... my mom was an ER nurse for a long time)

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

ScottyMacEsq :

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response.

ScottyMacEsq :

(please note that this question remains open until you rate it...)

ScottyMacEsq :

Hello?

ScottyMacEsq :

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

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