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Hospital worker turned patient suffers downsizing after surgery

A California hospital administrator who suffered as a patient and then reported the misdeeds claims that he suffered retaliation after a botched surgery. Reports show that the man, who had worked for Kaiser for nearly three decades, suffered serious injury when he underwent an outpatient bronchoscopy procedure. However, major complications that occurred during that procedure left the man with serious injuries that required several more surgeries to repair. When the man revealed several patient safety concerns because of the experience, he became the target of retaliatory actions.

The man said that he met with the hospital's senior vice president of quality and risk management during the summer, about four months after he was able to return to work. The man said he broached concerns including lack of appropriate staff and resources, poor emergency transportation options and violation of medically accepted standards of care. Further, the man alleged that he had not been informed when his treatment deviated from acceptable care protocols. In addition to meeting with the higher administrator, the man also submitted his claims in writing.

Instead of working together to solve the problems, Kaiser administrators forced the man to remain silent about the surgery concerns while at work. He was fired in late October after his position was reportedly eliminated. The plaintiff in this case has filed lawsuits for wrongful termination, along with violations of state safety and health provisions.

Workers who are simply attempting to improve the quality of service provided by their own organizations should not be victimized by such unfair actions. Employees who have been punished by demotion or downsizing because of filing a complaint may benefit from the help of a California employment attorney. These professionals may provide additional information about legal and financial options after a retaliatory incident.

Source: Courthouse New Service, "Nearly Killed, then Fired, Kaiser Manager Says" Tish Kraft, Mar. 21, 2014

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