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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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I was a medical practice manager (exempt, full benefits) in

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I was a medical practice manager (exempt, full benefits) in a clinic for six years and it was sold to a new hospital, I have worked for them for two years. In May of this year I filed a physical aggression complaint against a physician I work with (long story.) No action was taken except she was "spoken to about her behavior."
A consultant was brought in under the premise to investigate a central medical records department I had proposed in regard to our implementation of electronic health records. Instead of doing this, she met with the physician I accused, me and then approached my staff and asked them (per the staff) "Tell me three things you don't like here."
Actually, she was the wife of one of the physicians at the hospital, without any background in consulting, and her husband and her are friends with the physician I filed a complaint against. This consultant created an incredibly derogatory and inflammatory report and accused me of poor leadership skills. This was after her telling me how much her husband "loved" ..the physician I had made the complaint against, and how she did not believe the physician could ever behave like this. (This act of physical aggression was made in front of the entire front office and numerous patients at the front desk.)
This consultant met with the new CEO for two hours on his first day at HRRMC. It was after this meeting that my job was terminated, and I was eventually offered a position with at 27% reduction in pay and benefits. I never had a chance to meet with the new CEO, except for once, a week after this meeting with the consultant, and he proceeded to scream at me and my supervising vice president.I was flabbergasted, because at this point, I had not known about the final report presented to the CEO from the consultant. I was not allowed to answer any of his accusations of poor leadership. Mind you, I had just had a great evaluation and review in May, and was totally caught off guard with this.
Due to the way the situation with the physician was handled (actually not handled, she was "talked to") and the incredible tension and volatile situation surrounding this physicians behavior on this day, before this day and after the incident, I was extremely afraid of retaliation by her and the hospital. This issue involves more than myself, including retaliation by this physician against our other physician, our mid level provider, our biller coder and nursing. The hospital refused to deal with the issues which resulted in her violent outburst against me.
There are many other incidents that occurred with administration in conjunction with this situation which I believe led to the termination of my position and the demotion that was eventually offered to me. There is so much to it, I cannot fit it all in.
My question is, can I file a case against the hospital for retaliation in response to my formal complaint against an aggressive employee?

Thank you for your question. I'm very sorry to hear about this situation.

Prior to your demotion, did you have any written contract with your employer regarding your job position or otherwise stating you could only be terminated for cause?

When you were demoted, was there any document you signed in which you were required to "release" the hospital from any claims?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, but they gave me one just last Friday as I gave notice and they walked me out.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, I did not sign the release, and I have been hiring and firing employees for years here and have never seen an employee given one as I was.

Thank you for your response.

When you say you "gave notice", this confuses me. I thought you were demoted with a lower paying job. Have you since quite?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I did, the new position was my old position, different title, same workload-27% paycut. The new CEO would not even look or speak to me, and it became painfully obvious that there was no future for me at this facility. The physician I filed a complaint against, by the way, is not under review for poor performance and refusal to perform her job requirements.

I know this is confusing, there are so many incidents and information I have not even begun to give you....I don't even know how to put this together.

Thank you for clearing that up.

I think the best thing here is to start with an explanation of the law in this area and then discuss your case in particular. In Colorado, and throughout the United States, employment law heavily favors the employer in most situations. Unless the employee has a contract which provides that the employee may only be terminated for cause, the law will hold that the employee's right to work falls under the At Will Doctrine. The At Will Doctrine provides that an employer may terminate an employee for any reason whatsoever, even if it is a false reason. The only limitation on this is that an employer may not terminate an employee because of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry of the employee.

Protection from retaliation is also very limited. An employee is protected from retaliatory filing only when there is a clear statutory provision for the protection. This is the case where an employee files a EEOC discrimination claim, reports OSHA violations, and reports SEC violations. However, the report of physically aggressive behavior internally to an employer does not trigger any retaliation protection.

In your case, you say you were terminated because of a false performance report filed in retaliation against you for reporting physically aggressive behavior by physician. Given that the employer has a right to terminate you for any reason that the employer believes is fit, do you believe that the termination was actually based on discrimination regarding your race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry?

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