A former jail nurse in McCracken County, Kentucky, is suing the county and her ex-boss, claiming he fired her after she reported what she saw as an abuse of authority, mismanagement and unsafe practices, as well as wrongful termination.
The woman worked on a part-time basis as a mental health nurse until Feb. 27, 2020. The reason given for her termination was that she violated the federal Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act (HIPPA).
Among her reports to the person in charge of the medical department of the jail was that the jail violated the HIPAA rights of inmates, who were forced to consult with her with other inmates and attorneys in the same room. She insisted on meeting with patients in private. She also said the jail falsified inmate forms and ripped up their reports of grievances about their medical treatment. Additionally, she said the jail didn’t properly administer medications to inmates.
According to the lawsuit, the nurse “observed all of the LPNs putting loose pills into white envelopes with only an inmate’s name on it for other medical staff members to pass out to inmates, which is an illegal practice that led to many inmates getting the wrong medications and/or the wrong dosage.”
The woman also contends that she was the recipient of sexually suggestive communications for her boss. The lawsuit stated that he “spoke about sexual matters and sent sexual messages … (that) became very dirty and included nude videos and inappropriate photos,” according to the lawsuit.
The nurse is seeking a jury trial and asking for a financial award for lost income, pain and suffering.
Employees are protected by law if they report what they determine to be improper actions in the workplace. This woman is within her legal rights to ask the courts to intervene.