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Employer "wanted to part ways peacefully" after a patient's wife complained of misconduct (5days after the visit)

by L

I was discharged from my Home Health position recently with the HR person stating "after having a meeting, we would like to peacefully part ways and no longer need your services". This comes after seeing a patient earlier on a Friday afternoon the previous week, having my immediate new boss text me on Tuesday (5 days) afternoon to cancel my appt with this patient (no reason given), Wed morning being called into by my new boss to ask "what my side of the story is (in reference to the patient's wife calling in Tuesday morning stating I had kissed her husband on the lips -- NOT what happened -- during Friday's visit). As I told my immediate boss, the truth of the matter was the wife was present, and asked permission of Pt (and wife) if could provide a peck on the cheek or hug to clinician in celebration of how far he has progressed in 4 weeks), called in Thursday late morning and having the HR person state the above. No verbal/written notices, no written reason for termination, no opportunity to rectify my reputation and protect my license. I've been working in this field for 12yrs, have always had outstanding reports from patients for what we've accomplished/professionalism/encouragement, etc. I am not quite sure how best to approach filing a claim for UI. Thank you in advance for your expertise and wise counsel.

I'm keeping my answer short and so should you

Truthfully of course is how I believe one should approach any claim for unemployment benefits.

But not without the knowledge it's an employer that has the burden of proving the patient's, or the wife's complaint, is in fact accurate and more credible that your interpretation of the "incident". At least, that's the expectation of the employer when they explain this burden to the unemployment department to be more than a mere accusation to be the reason they were correct to fire you
for "work related misconduct".

It's more difficult to prove customer complaints. But now were talking about potential egregious inappropriate conduct of a licensed professional and not for some run of the mill type of misconduct such as unexcused excessive absenteeism.

What makes this complaint particularly more difficult as good cause (misconduct) .. is that the misconduct according to you at least, is primarily being based only on this customer/clients hearsay account (doubtful your employer would ask either to be a direct witness at an appeal hearing) of an event not witnessed by whomever might act as the employer's witness.

(Not to say a proper investigation into the incident might not help with the hearsay thing).

But after reading this what I think is a fairly objective account of the incident along with the employer's calm decision to fire you, I found myself trying to imagine the situation of that kiss.

Mostly, I get why a healthcare provider would ask permission. Maybe even that of the patient, and the wife and to give that hug/peck on the cheek.

But what I'm having a little trouble imagining is why, if this was the case .. why the wife would then do something so below the belt as to complain it wasn't an innocent peck and hug .. but a what .. (yup, I'm filling in the blanks about the complaint).

I'll wrap this up just say .. read the definition of misconduct, or even this article interpreting what means .. "the lady doth protest too much methinks".

For those reading along, but not into Shakespeare, I'll cut to the chase of the interpretation I think is relevant to rebutting a burden .. when an employer has to prove the burden.

"When we smugly declare that "the lady doth protest too much," we almost always mean that the lady objects so much as to lose credibility."

Chris ..
I moved this question to the others about getting fired.

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