Category Archives: Health Care

How to Save Text Messages from Your Boss or Co-workers for an Employment Lawsuit – Pt. 4

Should you save those scandalous text messages that you receive from your boss or co-workers? The answer is yes. This video and webpage is about how to do it properly so that if you have to take legal action down the road those text messages will help prove your case. Saving good documents, like emails and text messages, can mean the difference between losing your case, and winning millions of dollars in punitive damages.

This video is Part 4 in Branigan’s video series called, “How to Document Bad Behavior at Work.”

This video series is especially important if you feel like your legal issues fall within one of the following categories:

If you would rather watch this video on YouTube, click here.

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Filed under Abuse, Age, Defamation, Disability, Discrimination, FEHA, Harassment, Health Care, Leave of Absence, Pregnancy, Privacy, Race, Religion, Retaliation, Settlements, Wage & Hour, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination

What are the Legal Implications of Quitting Your Job?

What are the legal implications of quitting your job? Can you collect unemployment? Severance? What if you have a case and you quit (vs letting them fire you), will you still be able to take action? I answer all of those questions in this video.

My office gets a lot of calls from people who quit and still want to take action. This video details the critical things that lawyers look at in this situation.

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Filed under Age, Defamation, Disability, Discrimination, Employment Contract, FEHA, Harassment, Health Care, Layoffs, Leave of Absence, Pregnancy, Privacy, Race, Religion, Retaliation, Settlements, Severance, Wage & Hour, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination

How to Complain to Human Resources the Right Way

As with all things in life, making a complaint at work is a risk. If you complain to human resources the wrong way, you might get fired (it happens far more often than people think). That is why I took the time to make a video about the correct way to complain to HR.

This video will explain the five things you need to know before you complain about your issue at work. It also covers how HR will react to your complaint and what you should expect if they conduct an “investigation.”

If you found this to be helpful, please leave a comment below.

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Filed under Abuse, Age, Defamation, Disability, Discrimination, Employment Contract, FEHA, Harassment, Health Care, Layoffs, Leave of Absence, Pregnancy, Privacy, Race, Religion, Retaliation, Settlements, Severance, Verdicts, Wage & Hour, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination

What does being an “at-will employee” actually mean? Can I get fired for “any reason”?

This is a very common question. At-will employment does not mean that the company can fire you for any reason they want. That is incorrect. In this video, employment attorney Branigan Robertson explains the at-will doctrine and how it actually works.

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Filed under Abuse, Age, Defamation, Disability, Discrimination, Employment Contract, FEHA, Harassment, Health Care, Layoffs, Leave of Absence, Pregnancy, Privacy, Race, Religion, Retaliation, Settlements, Severance, Verdicts, Wage & Hour, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination

Protecting Medical Professional Whistleblowers

It is the public policy of California to encourage patients, nurses, doctors and other members of health facilities to speak up against suspected unsafe patient care and poor health facility conditions. It is still very common for members of health facilities to witness first hand poor patient treatment and poor patient conditions. Therefore, California has passed a unique whistleblower law, Health & Safety Code 1278.5, for medical professionals.

Basically, under 1278.5, it is unlawful for an employer of a health facility to retaliate against any patient or employee of the health facility for complaining or reporting (blowing the whistle) unsafe patient care or poor patient conditions to the employer. Employment attorneys like Mr. Robertson are there to ensure that health facility employers are held accountable under this law.

Recent Verdict – Cancer Patients and Bad Surgeons Lead to Whistleblower Complaint

In a very recent case out of the California judicial system, Wascher v. Southern California Permanente Group, plaintiff was a surgeon who worked for defendant from 2009 to 2011. During his employment, plaintiff complained about unsafe patient care to the defendant. Plaintiff made the following complaints to his employer: access to surgery for cancer patients took too long and unqualified surgeons were handling cancer cases that they should not be handling. In response to his complaints, rather than addressing the plaintiff’s legitimate complaints, the defendant barred him from becoming a partner. Plaintiff hired an employee rights attorney to protect his rights.

Plaintiff argued that he was retaliated against for complaining about unsafe patient care in the workplace. Defendant argued that the plaintiff was not barred from becoming a partner because he was not a good fit. Defendant also argued that he did not make complaints, but asked for certain preferences that would benefit himself as a surgeon. The jury was not convinced by the defense and sided with the plaintiff. The jury awarded plaintiff $1,750,000 for retaliation under Health & Safety 1278.5.

This case was a huge victory for employees of health facilities, whether it be doctors, nurses, o medical staff assistance. Wascher v. Southern California Permanente Group reinforces California’s policy of encouraging members of health facilities to speak up against suspected unsafe patient care and poor health facility conditions. This is a very important law as it not only protects employees who act as patient advocates, but also protects the pateints themselves to ensure that Californians are treated in a safe and clean health facility. If you are an employee of a health facility and you feel that you have been retaliated against for reporting unsafe patient conditions or acting as an advocate for patients adverse to your employer, then call an employee rights attorney immediately.

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Filed under Health Care, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination

Health Care Whistle Blower Employment Lawyer

One of the types of whistleblowers employment lawyers protect are employees who report unsafe patient care and conditions. The California Legislature has passed some special whistleblower laws for medical professionals and medical staff. In California, it is public policy to encourage doctors and other health care workers to report suspected unsafe patient care and conditions. Ultimately, the California Legislature wants to protect patients.

Unfortunately, medical professionals and medical staff witness poor patient treatment in the workplace all the time. That is why CA Health & Safety Code 1278.5 was enacted. Basically, Health & Safety Code 1278.5 provides that no employer shall discriminate against an employee, member of the medical staff, or other health care worker of the employer for presenting a complaint or report to the employer, or medical staff, or other governmental entity.

Suing On Behalf of Doctors, Surgeons, & Nurses

In Pedowitz, M.D. v. The Regents of the University of California, et al., plaintiff was the Chair of UCLA’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. During the first year of employment, plaintiff reported conflicts of interest between UCLA medical professionals and outside medical third parties which plaintiff believed negatively affected patient care and safety. Less than a year into his position as Chair, he was asked to resign. Plaintiff hired an employment lawyer to sue his former employer.

Plaintiff claimed that his removal as Chair was directly due to his reports of various conflicts of interests between doctors and third party medical companies which had the potential to gravely affect patient care and safety. Defendant argued that plaintiff was asked to resign due to his poor leadership skills and his poor communication with colleagues.

The trial lasted two long months. Although there was no jury verdict, there was a $10,000,000 settlement which occurred at trial immediately before closing arguments. The fact that the defendants settled for such a high amount right before closing arguments implies that the case was not boding well for the employer. Defendants must have feared a potential hefty verdict against them in favor of the plaintiff.

Employment Lawyer Against Hospitals and Medical Executives

It never looks good to a jury or any outside observers when an employee is fired for reporting unsafe patient care and conditions, and Pedowitz, M.D. v. The Regents of the University of California, et al. is a testament to that. If you have reported unsafe patient care conditions or care, and believe that your employer has retaliated against you, call an employment attorney immediately.

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Filed under Health Care, Whistleblower