Worker Fired After Talking to State Investigator
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on November 29, 2022 in Nursing Home Abuse
Earlier this year, a nursing home caregiver was terminated after she spoke to a state investigator. According to state records, the inspector was investigating conditions at the facility.
The caregiver, Brandy Johnson, was a certified nurse aide at the Aspire of Perry nursing home for three years. She was fired in August. Up to that time, state records show that Johnson occasionally was called upon to serve as the facility’s de facto administrator. In this role, Johnson performed various administrative duties, including hiring new workers. The turnover is reportedly high among the facility’s licensed administrators.
On August 23, a news report states that the state worker involved in the investigation at the facility contacted Johnson. The investigator reportedly knew Johnson was no longer employed at the facility, but not that she had been fired.
According to Johnson, the administrator at Aspire called her about an hour after she spoke with the investigator. She was informed that she was terminated for creating a hostile work environment.
A recent hearing, presided over by Administrative Law Judge James E. Timberland, was held to review Johnson’s application for unemployment benefits following her termination. He concluded that she “had done nothing to create or contribute to a hostile work environment.” The ALJ did say, however, that Aspire’s administrator had not only been unprofessional but had also aimed “belligerent and offensive conduct” at Johnson.
The ALG deemed Johnson eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
Other Care Facility Unemployment Cases
According to state records, several care facility workers in Iowa also lost their jobs and sought unemployment. However, these workers were all denied the unemployment benefits they sought, including:
- Donald Norris: As a certified medication aid and certified nursing assistant, Norris was fired for neglecting residents in his care. He was filmed watching television instead of making regular rounds and checking on residents every two hours.
- Timothy Jordan: Found negligent in his duties as a mental health security technician. During his shift, he was filmed sleeping in a chair instead of checking in on the patients every 15 minutes, as he was hired to do. Not only was he denied unemployment benefits, but he also had to pay back the over $11,682 in benefits he had already received.
- Angela Burke: A former assistant director of nursing at Genesis Senior Living facility in Iowa, Burke was fired after just one month. Not only did she fail to perform initial assessments of new residents admitted, but she also neglected to check a physician’s orders. A manager at the facility stated that Burke seemed to lack either the willingness or the ability to do the job. She was also denied unemployment benefits.
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