Employer Breached Contract?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by TimL2952, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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    Hey all. To be frank, I am a fairly young member of this board. I am only 23 and as such I have quite a bit less experience when it comes to work, contracts, and grievances.

    To preface my issue, I was working for a local hospital in the Children's Psychiatric Unit. I was a Behavioral Health Aide, responsible for supervising the children (ages 5-17) throughout my shift. Often times the nurses would promote dangerous working conditions i.e. giving a violent, autistic 11 year old a sharpened pencil when he wasn't even allowed to use a special plastic spork to eat. That kid almost stabbed me as a result. Another time, a patient told me that the same nurse let her sit in her car while the nurse smoked so she could receive "second-hand smoke." The patient was allowed to leave the floor via a Doctor's order, but not allowed to leave the building. No action was ever taken against this senior RN.

    So, on to my issue.

    Below is a verbatim copy of Article 14, Section 2 of the contract I signed with an explanation of how I believe it was breached.

    "Upon receipt of notice from the Hospital, the probationary period will be extended for a maximum of three (3) additional calendar months. Individuals who are placed on an extended probationary period will begin their benefits and obtain CSEA membership as though the probationary period had not been extended. The notice extending an employee's probationary period of employment will set forth the specific reason or reasons for this action. The statement of reason(s) is for the purpose of assisting the employee to satisfactorily complete the period of probation. The reasons are not subject to challenge through the grievance and arbitration procedure contained in this Agreement. A copy of the notice shall be sent concurrently to the CSEA Unit President."

    Now for the explanation of how this article was breached. I was notified AFTER my probationary period had been extended that it had in fact been extended from 2 fellow employees. Barring that this may be a violation of HIPAA, it says right in article 14.2 that a probation extension must be pursuant to a notification from the Hospital, which I did not receive, and no specific reason(s) given.

    Second, section 14.2 also states that employee's whose probationary periods have been extended will obtain CSEA membership and start obtaining benefits. After my informal termination via a phone call to my cell phone, I contacted the CSEA headquarters in Albany, NY to see if there was anything I could do. However. the individual I spoke to informed me that they had no information of me within their system, implying that my paperwork had never been submitted after my initial 90 day probationary period.
     
  2. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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    Basically, I'm just asking anyone that has any experience in this matter if I have a legal case against the Hospital.
     

  3. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Not really sure what this has to do with anything. But, it seems from your side, they breached the contract. Twice. It also seems to me that if you can prove this, they'd have to answer for it legally. The question is, do you want to pursue it? Obviously, they're betting you don't. The bigger question is, that assuming you have a case, do you really want to fight for a job with a douchebag employer? (For me, personally, compensation, maybe, the job, no) Keep in mind that if you push it and win, they'll likely hold a grudge, and keep tormenting you.

    If nothing else, life in general (and the very recent past in particular), has taught me that a lot of times, you're better off NOT being employed by the douchebag employer.

    I bet some of the RN's here might be able to weigh in on the specifics.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  4. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How long were you employed?
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    First- legal advice given from a group of anonymous non-attorneys on the internet is worth every penny you paid for it. We did have a couple of attorneys that were members, but they were last seen curled in a fetal position, whimpering gently.

    Second- you MAY have a case for Breach of Contract. But you need the counsel of an attorney licensed to practice in YOUR state. Call the State Bar Association. Most have a setup for a 30 minute consultation for a very modest fee,

    Last, the conduct of the other employees has zip relation to your case.
     
  6. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

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    Sounds like you were still in a probationary period. Being terminated within this period of time, unfortunately, gives the hospital a free ride. I'm sorry but it sounds like it didn't work out for you. Save yourself a lot of heartache and start looking for another position. good luck
     
  7. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    This is the best advice you're going to get here from us more experienced in life. Things in life can be unfair and we can't always make things right. I would document everything you see that is 'wrong'. I would look for another job and on the exit interview at this place, I would be sure they knew exactly why I was quitting. To be honest, I think this is the best you can do.
     
  8. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lots of good advice above, but I think gr8 nailed it. Move on asap. If you stay and win, you still lose. If you lose the fight, you've branded yourself as a young troublemaker looking for a job.
     
  9. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Law and contracts are purposefully complex. If you want an opinion that is worth more than a glass of water, contact an attorney.
     
  10. Eagle1803

    Eagle1803 New Member

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    Go work somewhere else, the medical field offers a wide variety of places to work...if you can help it don't work aroung Psych kids either
     
  11. FernandoTheCommando

    FernandoTheCommando New Member

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    A consulatation with a lawyer is usually free. Even if it isnt, ive had lawyers answer some tough questions and provide guidance for around $100. Asking non lawyers for legal advice on a gun forum is kind of sketchy. A lot of our guys had good advice, but like they said, take it with a grain of salt. If this was your life long career id say to get a lawyer and fight it. If its "just a job", i wouldnt waste your time and hard earned money. You seem like a smart kid and sound fully capable of finding a better place to work. My wife works in health care and ive seen hospitals do some scummy $#!@ to their employees. Collect your pay for the time being and look for a better job. Not every employer will try to screw you like that. Good luck with everything.
     
  12. FernandoTheCommando

    FernandoTheCommando New Member

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    Oh, and one more thing. Working in a psych unit for kids is a VERY demanding and stressfull job. My brother is a social worker and has done all types of work with kids, from psych units, to group homes, to state hospitals for the criminally insane. The suicide rate for workers is astronomical and if you dont have a heart of steel, you wind up becoming depressed due to living vicariously through these kids terrible stories. Its a rough field to be in. Im not assuming you cant handle it, im just saying be prepared to deal with some truly terrible things. Its a noble proffesion but one that requires you to almost shut down completely to deal with it daily. My brother is and always has been a monotone kind of stone cold guy, so hes done ok. If you can handle it, then i have much respect for you. I know i couldnt do it.
     
  13. rn-cindy

    rn-cindy Active Member

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    You need to pick your battles carefully....don't stumble over something that's behind you, just move on. Your in what can be a very close knit profession...Good references are going to be valuable......If there is an exit interview..get a letter of recommendation in exchange for going quietly...
     
  14. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I find this interesting.
    This is not legal advice, and should not be taken as legal advice.

    Normally, probationary periods are not extended unless the employee develops some condition that requires it.
    A medical reason, job performance, and military duty could (not should) possibly require extension.

    A person can normally establish themselves within the normal 90 day probationary period. During the probationary time, dismissal does not require as much explanation as would for someone not on probationary period.

    If a company is leery enough of me to extend my probationary period without full explanation as to why, then I am too leery to work for that company.
     
  15. rn-cindy

    rn-cindy Active Member

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  16. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I disagree. Maybe. :confused:
     
  17. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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    If you read carefully, I was fired after my probation was extended. However, the sections clearly states that my probation can be extended AFTER the employee is notified with the reason for the extension. I was never notified.

    Also, after the initial probationary period (30 days) EVEN IF MY PROBATION IS EXTENDED, I was supposed to become a member of the union. After a call to the Albany office, there was no record of me in the system.

    I would like the job back, working with the kids was great, but I understand that they would be looking for the smallest infraction to fire me again. Now, legal action looking for compensation of back-wages is what I'm looking for.
     
  18. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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    I've already been fired, yes it was during probation, but that's not the point. Reread the contract article
     
  19. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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    I was planning on it before I made the post. Should have specified.

    Bad experience with psych kids? There were a few times I really questioned the job, but since it was a short term facility, the kids moved on within 2 months. There were only ever 2 kids that I really disliked being around, the violent autistic kid and this very arrogant, verbal, violent 14 year old girl
     
  20. TimL2952

    TimL2952 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. That's what the Unit Director and some of the employees had said, too. Some of them got together after work for a drink or two or smoked and talked it out. I'm a pretty resilient guy, and some of those kids really do come from horrible backgrounds, but I was pretty good at shutting myself on and off.

    I more or less just got annoyed at the constant attention some of the children needed. The one kid was restrained in a 5 point bed almost 10 times a day for awhile.

    They told me I was going to be part time at first, which was ok, but I WAS looking for full time. However, I ended up working ~45-48 scheduled hours a week AND being called in/mandated to stay quite often. All said and done it was ~56 hours a week at $11.90 an hour, $17.85 overtime pay. Sometimes I would work 16 hour shifts three days in a row.