CALIFORNIA – A Filipino-American healthcare professional stands out among the nine workers who have filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination against St. Francis Medical Center in California.
Arlene Nielsen, a licensed vocational nurse, has been a part of the hospital since 2016. However, her passion for the job was impacted after Prime Healthcare acquired St. Francis in 2020.
The lawsuit against St. Francis Medical Center alleges that profits took precedence over patient safety following the acquisition. Nielsen and her colleagues voiced their concerns to the hospital management and the union, but these concerns were not addressed.
The workers, backed by local officials, took their concerns to the corporate headquarters in November. Instead of receiving answers, they were suspended and terminated days before Christmas.
The lawsuit also points out the hospital’s refusal to hire more staff despite pleas from the workers. Those with up to 28 years of service believe they were wrongfully terminated.
Scott Bytington, one of the plaintiffs, claims he was fired for advocating for patient care and safety. He emphasizes the crucial role of healthcare workers as the first and often the last line of defense for patients.
In response, the hospital denies that the terminations are related to the raised concerns, citing violations of hospital policy and abusive conduct by the employees.
While the terminated workers assert that they voluntarily took extended shifts due to staff shortages, the hospital vows to vigorously defend the lawsuit and ensure a safe and compassionate environment.
This lawsuit for wrongful termination in California highlights labor challenges at St. Francis Medical Center, raising questions about the prioritization between profits and patient safety as workers seek justice for what they perceive as unjust labor practices.