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Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 12/22/2010

Fired D.C. nurse to be reinstated

By Washington Post editors
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Labor and delivery nurse Geri Lee (By Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Labor and delivery nurse Geri Lee was one of 11 nurses and five support staff members at Washington Hospital Center who were fired after failing to make it to work during back-to-back snowstorms in February. Lee says she tried to get to work but the roads were too dangerous.

Lee says she was told: "If you refuse to come in, you’ll be held insubordinate. At that point, I said, ‘I don't know what I am supposed to do,’ ” she said.

Nearly a year later, an independent arbitrator has ruled that Lee was insubordinate, but her conduct did not warrant immediate discharge. The arbitrator also ruled that she should be reinstated.

The Washington Hospital Center released a statement saying: "The arbitrator ordered that her dismissal be converted to a 10-day suspension without pay, and that Ms. Lee be offered reinstatement to her former position as a labor and delivery nurse ... We now intend to follow this ruling."

"I am looking forward to returning to [my] job and wonderful co-workers. I am so thrilled!" Lee told MyFoxDC.com.

The cases of eight other Washington Hospital Center nurses who were fired are still pending.

By Washington Post editors  | December 22, 2010; 11:27 AM ET
 
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Comments

No!!!! One should ever have to go through what these People went through!! How in the Hell do you risk killing yourself on Hazardous roads, or killing someone else trying to get to work!! Big Trucks and Vehicles were stuck for days on in!! Give me a break!!! I would have sued the hell out of em!! Washington Hospital Center would have been pracitcally working for me when I got through with em!!! That was Washington Hospital Centers poor Mangt and Planning!! They need to Blame their own Damn Selves!!

Posted by: audwin_chandleryahoocom | December 22, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's me, but nowhere in this story do I see where Ms. Lee refused to come in to work. The root cause was an act of God, which doesn't sound like a premeditated refusal to me. Additionally, the writer needs to change the word "subordinate" to "insubordinate".

Posted by: walter17 | December 22, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's me, but nowhere in this story do I see where Ms. Lee refused to come in to work. The root cause was an act of God, which doesn't sound like a premeditated refusal to me. Additionally, the writer needs to change the word "subordinate" to "insubordinate".

Posted by: walter17 | December 22, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I am happy to learn ms lee got her job back..however hospital staff has different expectations that requires them to be at work no matter what..what i want to know is that was ms lee offered overnight accomodations as others were and then she refused....makes for a different story...now did her race,gender or other circumstances come into play and how come the other persons cases have not been settled in the same manner..timing???

Posted by: wmnatzakanian | December 22, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Gerri was in my Graduating class.. Nursing school..great student, super duper RN! this was what, how many years ago, 1991, 1992?
I'll tell you one thing. when R.N.'s our age earn more towards the later years, ALL HOSPITALS treat us this way!

They don't want to pay for our retirement that is coming in the next 5-10 years! This is the THANKS they give us for all the hard work and years of sacrifice.

They set us up with B.S. expectations so they can make up some kind of BALONEY reason to NOT pay up when "retirement days" come "due".

If you think this is the only health care facility that does this kind of thing in America, think again! Workplaces all over do this kind if thing SPECIFICALLY to RN's and R.N's, generally, do NOT open their mouths about it!

Posted by: CountytaxpayingCHNII | December 22, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

It is difficult to understand the hospital's thinking on this. Certainly these people are critical to a functioning hospital. But having lived in the METRO area in the past during blizzard conditions, the call always went out for 4 wheel vehicles to assist in getting emergency personal to work. Is there a record of the hospital placing such a call for assistance from emergency vehicles from any quarter and working with the affected nurses?

Posted by: slim21 | December 22, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Welcome news...in time for Christmas.

Posted by: eabgarnet | December 22, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"Certainly these people are critical to a functioning hospital. But having lived in the METRO area in the past during blizzard conditions, the call always went out for 4 wheel vehicles to assist in getting emergency personal to work. Is there a record of the hospital placing such a call for assistance from emergency vehicles from any quarter and working with the affected nurses?"

No, there is only a record of the hospital ACTUALLY PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION to individuals during the snowstorms of 2009-2010. But no one seems to acknowledge that.

Posted by: NNevada | December 23, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The 4 wheel drives can rarely get into neighborhoods, and if the RN's don't work in DC, or if they live in outlying areas of MD/or Virginia, the 4 wheel drives most CERTAINLY are not going to be driving all the way out to places like Gaithersburg, Germantown, or Derwood, to pick up RN's. Who says all of the RN's working at WHC live in DC? Who can afford that, with a family? It's expensive to live in DC!Most RN's I know live in outlying areas where they can afford small townhomes such as Germantown, etc. Extremely difficult to navigate in snowstorms!These are the last places to be plowed in Montgomery County.

Posted by: CountytaxpayingCHNII | December 26, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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