Doyle Dennis LLP prides itself on protecting and supporting workers who are victims of workplace discrimination or wrongful termination. In these cases, typically the wrongful termination or discrimination occurs in retaliation for the worker reporting a workplace injury, reporting a safety violation, or reporting a violation of law. Depending on the situation, the rights and remedies available to such a worker or whistleblower may fall under the Texas Labor Code § 451.001, which protects injured workers, Texas Administrative Code § 133.43 and Texas Health and Safety Code § 161.134,
which protect hospital employees who report violations of law, or Texas Occupations Code § 301.413, which protects nurses who report safety violations.
Based upon the years of experience of its attorneys, Doyle Dennis LLP recently was retained to file suit on behalf of a Memorial Hermann nurse who was fired after reporting illegal conduct that she believed created a safety risk for hospital employees and patients. Specifically, the suit alleges that Doyle Dennis LLP’s client was a victim of discrimination and wrongful termination because she reported illegal conduct and/or acts, conduct. Prior to her retaliatory firing on December 14, 2020, Doyle Dennis’s client worked as a Manager in Rehabilitation Services for Memorial Hermann, including supervising and directly providing home health care for patients. In that position, she was responsible for ensuring quality patient care, effective management of resources, appropriate staff competency, and regulatory compliance, among other duties.
After changes in management within Memorial Hermann, Doyle Dennis LLP’s client began to notice multiple incidents of what appeared to be illegal or discriminatory actions conduct. In addition, the published organizational policies were being applied inconsistently and unequally and directives were issued encouraging people to under-report their hours. In effect, Memorial Hermann managers began to put in place a pay system that facilitated systematic underreporting of employees’ hours in the home healthcare units. In direct compliance with Memorial Hermann’s stated “Standards of Conduct”, Doyle Dennis’s client raised the issue internally through her management chain, and then through the prescribed processes in place for raising such concerns, including by direct report to Human Resources.
Rather than appropriately commending this medical professional for her ethical conduct, Memorial Hermann’s senior managers began a campaign against her, including placing her on a Performance Improvement Plan (“PIP”) without any prior notice and unsupported by any real facts. Shortly after these initial attacks, Doyle Dennis’s performance appraisal was downgraded by a senior Memorial Hermann director, overriding her supervisor’s legitimate appraisal.
At the same time, Doyle Dennis LLP’s client’s work in the organization was being lauded as having achieved a significant improvement in performance rating called “Star Rating” that is determinative of Medicare reimbursements, as part of a project for which she was singularly responsible.
Alarmed by the confluence of directed adverse events, Doyle Dennis’s client tried to engage HR with concerns that it appeared she was being specifically targeted and setup for some adverse action, but her efforts were unavailing. Soon thereafter, and less than 180 days from filing of this Petition, she was terminated, under the guise of her position being eliminated.
Doyle Dennis LLP filed suit to protect this medical professional, who suffered from retaliation for taking steps to protect patients and other medical professionals. The suit seeks the damages caused by Memorial Hermann’s conduct, including lost wages, lost earning capacity, mental anguish, and punitive damages. If you are an injured worker, nurse, whistleblower, or employee who suffers from discrimination or wrongful termination, call the lawyers at Doyle Dennis LLP for a free evaluation of your potential claim.