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Fired employees plan to file wrongful dismissal lawsuit

Former employees of a Michigan mental health facility are considering filing a class-action lawsuit against the state for wrongful termination of their jobs. According to reports, the employees were manually restraining a combative mental patient who suffered a broken arm as a result. As a response, the state suspended 28 people from their jobs, and several were later fired.

The care aids who restrained the patient alleged that they were only following orders. They said that they were specifically told by their supervisor that bed restraints, normally placed on the arms and legs, could not be used for the patient, but that only manual restraint could be used. They also said that upper level management in the hospital and inspectors from the state were well aware of the manual restraint technique and had approved it.

Care aids were supposedly concerned about employee safety issues with the combative patient and had previously sent several e-mails to the state voicing their concern. They alleged that the state was negligent in their review of the procedure, and that the accident had happened as a result of their negligence. A representative from the state said that there had been previously identified problems with the attitudes of the employees.

A lawsuit over wrongful termination of a job might be successfully won in court if the employer broke the law in doing so. Breach of contract, unlawful discrimination and retaliatory firing are three legal reasons for charging a case of wrongful discharge. These cases can sometimes be difficult to prove, requiring witness testimony and documentation. Employees who feel they have been wrongfully terminated from their jobs may decide to contact an employment lawyer for additional help.

Source: Fox 17, 'Fired K'zoo psych hospital workers preparing to file class action lawsuit", Josh Sidorowicz, Jan. 26, 2015

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