Protect Yourself from Unfair Dismissal

By MedHunters Staff

We've all heard stories about people who think they are doing good work only to find themselves without a job. Even in unionized environments, where jobs are better protected, people are dismissed for reasons that surprise them. Don't be a victim of unfair dismissal – take these measures to protect your job.

  • Whenever possible, have an employment contract. Contracts are legal documents that identify responsibilities and obligations. And, as we've all learned from watching programs like Judge Judy, contracts hold up better in court than verbal agreements.

  • Most hospitals and large employers have a set process for grievances and potential problems. Find out about the process at your workplace.

  • Ask for a copy of guidelines regarding actions that are cause for a warning and those that are cause for dismissal. If something is unclear, ask for clarification.

  • When you start a new job, make sure you understand the terms of your probation: the length of the probationary period, what expectations the employer has of you during this time (e.g. obtaining ACLS certification, completing IV certification, etc.), and how these expectations are measured. For your own reference, keep a copy of the job description.

  • Keep a record of any interaction where you have been warned or reprimanded. Find out exactly what you did wrong. Make a note of what was said, who said it, and the time it was said. If you are receiving contradictory information from a manager, charge person, or supervisor, it is particularly useful to write a letter detailing the situation, and have the person who spoke to you sign it so you have a written record the incident.

  • Use performance appraisals to get feedback from your employer. Make notes and ask for a written summary of the appraisal for your records. (If your employer has a policy against releasing information about your work performance, you may also be able to use performance appraisals as references.) With your supervisor/manager, prepare a plan to address any deficiencies noted in the appraisal. Keep notes about your progress, which you may discuss at your next performance appraisal.

Obviously, the best way to keep your job is to work hard and work smart. But when situations or people conspire against you, keeping good records is your best protection.

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