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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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if a nurse was falsely accused of stealing a patients controlled

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if a nurse was falsely accused of stealing a patients controlled pain medications (because the patient said she "never received them"), and voluntairly submitted to a drug test (three drug tests to be exact) and consistently tested negative for all 3 drug tests for the drug of which she was accused, and was still reported to the D.O.H, can the nurse take any legal action for being falsely accused of something she didnt do and for being put through tremendous amounts of emotional stress and frusteration to the point of resigning from the job? the nurse was also asked to take a leave of abscence from work without pay while the investigation was going on, and although she was cooperative with everyone involved and all her drug tests were negative, she was never reimbursed for the time she was asked to refrain from working. can any legal action be taken for any of this?


Before I answer your question, I need more information.

1. In what state do you work?

2. Do you have a written employment agreement?

I look forward to hearing back from you?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

i live and work in florida

what do you mean by a written employment agreement? dont all nurses have one?

A written employment agreement is a contract which you sign and which your employer signs which governs the terms of your employment. Do you have one of these? If so, we need to look at it to answer your question.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

yeah i remeber looking over it and it being explained to me and me signing it, it was just the basics though; stating that i, as a nurse, wouldnt take any controlled substances unless i had a proper prescription from a physician, and that i understand its a violation of the nurse practice act to divert/steal medications that werent mine or werent prescribed to me. but the thing is, i never did anything wrong, i didnt steal my pt's pain meds, i even volunteered to drug tests which ALL tested negative (one of which was an "on-site" drug test, which i took immediately i was notified about these accusations). my question is, can any legal action be taken against this company for falsely accusing me of taking these meds that i have actual proof i didnt take and can legal action be taken against the company for reporting me to the department of health for this when there was in fact NO case to be investigated? once i wrote out my narrative explanation of my version of the situation and what actually took place, i never heard from the DOH again or of this situation.

I understand your question, but you are getting ahead of me.

The document you signed does not sound like an employment contract, rather it sounds like you were signing off on the company polices. Florida is an "at will" employment state. That means that an employer may take any action it sees fit in terminating or limiting your employment, unless you have a written agreement with the employer that limits that discretion.

In your case, even though you were falselly accused, the employer has every right to take these suspension actions. In Florida, as in many other states, the employer can fire you for absolutely no reason whatsoever. So, in short, you don't have a legal claim against the employer unless you have an agreement that says they will not terminate you or suspend you unless they have just cause. If you have this agreement, then you can make a claim. However, if there is no written document that is a binding contract which states that the employer can only suspend you for just cause, then you don't have a claim.

That being said, you could sue the patient for defamation, fraud and interference with business relations.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, don't shoot the messenger.

Please rate my answer positively so I can receive credit for my work.

Also, if you want to talk through this issue more or you want to see law, or anything like that, just let me know and I'll be glad to walk it through with you. Also, if you think that there is a written policy about just cause suspension with your employer, then try to find it and write me back and we can talk more about it.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

do you think i should look into getting a nurse attorney?

how do i go about finding a nurse attorney?

Honestly I think that you might be chasing shadows on this. However, it wouldn't hurt to have an attorney look over your documents and meet you in person to talk about the potential case.

You wouldn't be looking for a nurse attorney, you would need an employment attorney. Most law firms are internet savvy and have set up websites. So the easiest way to find an attorney to meet with in person is to google "employment attorney" and the name of your city. Then you need to look through the websites and call and make some appointments to go see several different attorneys. Explain your case and see what they say. Most attorneys will consult for free on an employment law claim.

Please rate my answer positively so I might receive credit for my work. Again, let me know if you need more information.


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