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I just need to know if my mom has a wrongful termination case

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by AlwaysScrewed, Feb 8, 2017.

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  1. AlwaysScrewed

    AlwaysScrewed Law Topic Starter Guest

    Jurisdiction:
    Ohio
    I need to know if my mom has a wrongful termination case.

    She has worked at Kettering Hospital in Ohio for 40 years and they fired her for something I think others have done but only received a 'slap on the wrist' so to speak.

    I've been having a lot of health problems lately and have been in and out of the ER and one time she looked in my medical information because I was in the ER at the hospital where she worked and she wanted what was listed changed as it stated 'Psych Evalution' because I was really scared and was afraid I was going to die.

    She has done nothing else and is the only competent person at that position.

    I'm trying to figure out if she has a wrongful termination case or not.
     
  2. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    Short answer: No.
     
  3. AlwaysScrewed

    AlwaysScrewed New Member

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    Why? Be more specific.

    I have no proof that others have done the same thing and received a 'slap on the wrist'

    But I'm telling you right now she is/was legitimately the only competent person at her job.

    She should have received a warning. Not termination.

    I don't see how she doesn't have a case so explain further please.

    Thanks.
     
  4. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    She was not fired for any reason prohibited by law, therefore, she was not wrongfully terminated. Best she can do is file for unemployment and look for another job elsewhere.

    What anyone else has or hasn't done is neither here nor there.
     
  5. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    Sounds like a HIPAA violation if she used her employee credentials to do so... and that is serious
     
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  6. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    A lot of things happen in the workplace that people think are "unfair" or unjust but they are not illegal. Employers can for the most part fire for any reason or no reason at all. There are a handful of specific things that fall under the category of wrongful termination and this situation doesn't appear to fall into one of those categories.
     
  7. AlwaysScrewed

    AlwaysScrewed New Member

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    Whatever.

    She wasn't shitty at her job and she never screwed up.

    As far as I'm concerned termination was too extreme.

    It should have been a warning. End of story.

    I'm going to research this further because it seems like wrongful termination to me.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The term "wrongful termination" can be misleading.
    "Wrongful termination" is rarely used in the correct context.

    Take a look at a few excellent articles that will clear the fog and confusion surrounding the term, "wrongful termination":
    .....
    .....
    Wrongful Discharge
    .....
    .....
    Wrongful Termination: Was Your Firing Illegal? | Nolo.com
    .....
    .....
    Was I Wrongfully Discharged From My Job? - FindLaw
    .....
    .....

    Wrongful termination or wrongful discharge MIGHT occur if any of the following conditions exist.
    The list is short by design, and created using the 80/20 rule.
    This list represents 80% of wrongful discharges.


    1 Unlawful discrimination
    2 Retaliation
    3 Constructive termination

    If an employee were terminated from employment pursuant to the aforementioned reasons, it COULD be considered wrongful termination, providing grounds to file a lawsuit for wrongful discharge against the former employer.

    Notice, I don't say these conditions alone determine "wrongful discharge".
    "Wrongful discharge" is a legal conclusion drawn by a judge or jury.
     
  9. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    Well then that's all that counts. If it seems like wrongful termination to you, even though you asked us and it's already been addressed by several individuals here who work with this sort of stuff all the time and also an attorney/judge, clearly your opinion is the only important one. End of story.

    Good luck with that.
     
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  10. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    A wrongful termination means there is a specific law that says you cannot be terminated for the reason you were.

    There is not law that says she cannot be fired for violating HIPAA - which, in fact, is what she did,.

    Therefore it is not a wrongful termination. Even if others were not fired for the same thing. Employers are allowed to draw a line in the sand and say, "Next person to XYZ is fired" and then fire them.

    It may or may not be unfair. Unfair and illegal are not the same thing.

    If you still disagree, please provide a link to the law that was violated.
     
  11. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    Sorry but agree with others - not a wrongful termination. In at will employment you can be terminated at any time for any reason except for a reason prohibited by law such as religion, race, gender......or unless she had a binding employment contract contrary to the termination.

    Unfair (even if it is) does not always equal illegal.

    She can file for unemployment ins. & look for other employment.

    Good luck to her.
     
  12. AlwaysScrewed

    AlwaysScrewed New Member

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    Someone lock this thread. I'm officially done.

    I'd rather hear this from an actual attorney over the phone but I don't even know where to get free legal advice.

    I still intend on researching this further.

    /thread
     
  13. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    What she did was actually very illegal and I would be shocked if altering a family member's medical record when she had no part in the care plan wouldn't be grounds for termination.
     
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  14. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Attorneys don't dispense free legal advice over the phone. A person can usually get a free in office consultation to see if a matter is worth pursuing, however, you will not be able to do that. Your mother would be the one to visit with an attorney if she chooses to do so.
     
  15. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Straight from the agency that enforces HIPAA Your Medical Records

    Unless you signed a form to specifically give her access to your record, she violated the law in accessing it. Psychotherapy notes are to be kept under the strictest of security. Even you aren't entitled to them, so Mom going in and not only viewing but altering those is hugely unethical and also a violation of HIPAA. That she used her job as a way to do this is extremely problematic for her employer.

    My Mom works for a hospital as well and has high level access to all records as she runs a program/department there. On occasion I have given her the right to access my medical records and talk to my doctor, but it is in writing and she goes through the proper channels. She does not just sneak behind the scenes and she definitely does not alter those records. Off the record I am sure there are employees who look up a spouse's or child's test results with or without authorization, and while those violations and should be dealt with, altering those records, especially those with a psych component, is a whole different level of violation.
     
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  16. AlwaysScrewed

    AlwaysScrewed New Member

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    You want to keep doing this?

    FINE.

    I don't know what the hell HIPAA is and I honestly don't care. She's my MOTHER. She has EVERY RIGHT to have access to my medical records.

    In fact... I GAVE HER PERMISSION TO DO SO.
     
  17. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    It might be a good idea to Google what HIPAA is before you go off on anyone here. At the very least, click on the link ("Your Medical Records") that Elle posted above. It explains about patient privacy, and in layman's terms.

    I'm not sure why you think that your mother should have every right to have access to your medical records, if you are an adult. Parents are not granted some special exemption from the rules simply by virtue of the fact that they are parents.

    If you gave her permission to do so, it would have to involve more than just you saying "sure, mom, you can go look at my records". As Elle explained, it would need to be in writing, and even then your mother would have to go through the proper channels and not just go in on her own and look at them, particularly if they were related to your mental health. And even if you allowed her to look at them, by submitting written permission, I can't imagine why you or she would assume it was okay for her to alter the notes just because she thought it shouldn't be listed as a psych evaluation.
     
  18. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    You gave written permission that the hospital will be able to access that expressly states that your mother may have access to the information in your medical records? That's fine. Your mom can use that in her unemployment claim.

    It's still legal to them to fire her for accessing the records themselves instead of going through channels. And altering the records is well beyond the scope of what your permission permits. That's a firing offense no matter how you slice it.

    And if you can find a lawyer that says otherwise, please post his name and Bar number here.

    You still haven't posted what law you think was violated by your mother's termination.
     
  19. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Well maybe her boss woke up in a bad mood that day and felt like firing someone and your Mom was the first person she saw so she fired her. That's not illegal either. But you don't have to believe anything any of us say. Go see if you can find an attorney to give you the answer you want to hear. Good luck to you.
     
  20. AlwaysScrewed

    AlwaysScrewed New Member

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    She didn't alter it. She confronted someone in ER because she noticed it when all she wanted was to know my room number but she saw what was listed and demanded it be changed.

    Yet clearly they decided to fire her instead of just give her a warning which is what should have happened.

    EDIT: I did give said permission in writing as well. But apparently even that doesn't matter. I call BS.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017

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