Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Policy disagreement leads to a claimed wrongful termination

People working in the medical profession can be forced to make some difficult stands regarding their patients' care. Sometime, these opinions will go against management but are thought to be for the betterment of the patients. This does not always result in a happy ending as was demonstrated in a most recent case involving the former chief medical officer of Golden Valley Health Centers in Stanislaus and Merced Counties in California. She claims that she suffered a wrongful termination for speaking out against a new policy that would reduce the quality of patient care.

According to her complaint, the plaintiff was a well-respected member of the medical community and among her patients. She asserts that she always performed her job well without incident. Her problems purportedly began when she disagreed with a new policy that was being put in place due to the Affordable Care Act. This new policy would mean that the staff would take on more patients without more people being hired.

The woman claims that increasing the number of patients would negatively affect  the quality of  care received. Moreover, she asserts that this would cause additional stress on staff members. According to the previous policy, doctors were expected to see 28 patients daily, but the new policy would increase that number to 34. By using this new model, Golden Valley allegedly would be paid by the number of people in the network versus the number of patient visits.

The plaintiff was allegedly informed that her disapproval of the new policy was considered to be disloyal to management and lost her job. After she spoke with the CEO and asked for the decision to be reconsidered, she was returned to her former position but was fired again a week later. She claims that the company violated the California Business and Professions Code  by subjecting her to wrongful termination. Those who believe they have lost their jobs without just cause may choose to pursue legal actions against their employers. In successfully navigated claims, lost wages and other financial losses may be recovered, as well as possibly being returned to their former positions.

Source:, "Doctor claims she was fired after advocating for Golden Valley clinic patients", Ken Carlson, Dec. 25, 2014

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