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Nurse says she lost her job after reporting drug theft

A Los Angeles nurse has filed a lawsuit against her former employer who she says retaliated against her for complaining about poor patient care and an internal drug conspiracy. According to the former San Gabriel Valley Medical Center nurse, a group of nurses who were referred to by other hospital workers as the 'Mafia" conspired to steal medications and then sell them in the Philippines.

The plaintiff began working at the hospital in November 2011 and quit in May 2013. She alleges that she was a victim of retaliation when a hostile working environment forced her to quit her job. The nurses, many of whom had been disciplined at other hospitals for theft, allegedly made false accusations about the plaintiff's level of patient care and threatened to get her nursing license revoked.

The defendants that are named in the lawsuit include the plaintiff's two former bosses along with Horizon Health Management Co., AHMC Healthcare Inc. and the hospital. One of the plaintiff's former bosses, who worked as the hospital's nursing unit manager, allegedly showed indifference when he was told that patients were being over-medicated and their blood sugar levels were going up and down. The plaintiff also asserts that the nursing unit manager and the nursing unit director did nothing when she reported that medications were missing and found concealed in the nursing station.

An employee who reports suspicious activity going on at their workplace is legally protected from retaliation by the employer, including demotion or termination. An employment law attorney can assist such an employee in pursuing the legal remedies that may be available.

Source: Glendora Patch, "Nurse Claims Colleagues Stole Medicine, Sold in Philippines," Mirna Alfonso, June 2, 2015

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