Was I Retaliated Against?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about retaliation: I feel the MBA was angry that I would not discuss medical issues with him and targeted me by asking the quality nurse manager to focus on my performance during conference calls.

I was a nurse at a major health care clinic. I had registered nurses and MBA’s without medical backgrounds supervising me. I was coordinator of a department and during a patient review meeting, I explained the corporate goals for patient care could not be achieved related to the fact I was not staff adequately. After the meeting, the MBA approached me, wanted to discuss my patients data. I told him I was busy, but would talk to him later that day or the following day.

Frankly, I felt he had the opportunity to question me at the meeting in front of the medical director. In addition, he does not have the medical knowledge, licensing or credentials to question me about patient care. I believed the MBA knew this, was angry that I spoke up about short staffing and wanted to punish me. The following day, I was scheduled for a conference call with him and a quality manager, a licensed registered nurse. It was obvious, the MBA had discussed my failure to meet corporate goals for patient care with her. Every month, during conference calls, the quality manager voiced her concern that I was not obtaining desired goals and not doing my job. I never again discussed or mentioned staffing during conference call.

During these calls, my peers heard as I was asked questions and so on regarding my failure to meet corporate goals. The pressure got to me and I left my position and worked for them only on a per diem or as needed basis as opposed to full time. They begged me to stay, after realizing the stress of the job had broken me.

I feel the MBA was angry that I would not discuss medical issues with him and targeted me by asking the quality nurse manager to focus on my performance during conference calls. Is this retaliation? I have since returned to full time employment with this company, but I’m no longer at the same clinic or facility, but still the same large company. I preferred my work at the previous facility, but did not return because I felt embarrassed, humiliated by my previous managers. I never discussed anything with Human Resources because I don’t believe HR ever stands up for any employees at this large monopoly health care establishment.

Signed, Still Angry

Dear Still Angry:

It sounds as though you had a difficult time accepting the supervision of those you felt didn’t have your background. However, that is the case in many workplaces. I’m glad you were able to return to employment there. You ask if you were retaliated against. You might have been, but it wouldn’t fall under any issue that would be illegal or excessive. Your supervisor/manager wasn’t happy with the way you communicated with him/her and reacted to it strongly.

Some might say he was justified. Others might agree with you about it. But, it’s over now and you’re working for the same company, so apparently things have smoothed out. It sounds as though you don’t much like the health care company anyway. So, perhaps instead of working there and feeling negative about it, you could find a place that is easier to work for and where you could feel more positive about management, HR or others. Work is tough enough under the best circumstances! Best wishes to you with your future and with the situation there.

Tina Lewis Rowe