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Sunday, February 24th 2008

Walk Off The Job And You're Prosecuted

I have definite mixed feelings about this. 10 nurses conspired hurt their employer by walking off the job without notice. Now they’re facing criminal charges for endangering the lives of their patients with their sudden resignations.

Prosecutors say the nurses’ resignations — without notice — on April 7, 2006, jeopardized the lives of children at Avalon Gardens in Smithtown, where some of the patients are on ventilators and required constant monitoring.

None of the patients suffered ill effects, but an indictment alleges the nurses knew their sudden resignations would make it difficult to find replacements. Their trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 28.

Defense attorneys say they are perplexed why the case is proceeding to trial because two separate state-agency investigations cleared the 10 nurses. [Prosecutor] Spota said the legal standards for a prosecution differ from those of the state agencies.

While, not knowing the specifics of the incident, in general I would say something like this should be far from a criminal matter…in a just society.