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Nurse: I Was Fired for Speaking Out

NBC San Diego, 1/31/14

A Fallbrook Hospital nurse says she was fired as retaliation for participating in union activities.

According to the California Nurses Association, Veronica Poss is one of two nurses fired this week by the hospital's owner, Community Health Systems (CHS.)

This comes two weeks after she says she spoke out against a merger between CHS and Health Management Associates at a shareholder meeting in Florida.

“I never thought they would do something like this because really, truthfully, this is illegal. I have the right to protest when I think they are doing something wrong,” said Poss during a candlelight vigil for her Thursday.

Nearly a dozen nurses attended the vigil in front of Fallbrook Hospital to support Poss.

“She hasn’t done anything wrong other than support the union,” said fellow nurse Rosanna Robbins.

Poss, the California Nurses Association and San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council say the termination is payback.

"I was fired from this hospital because I stood up publicly as an advocate for the patients in this community of Fallbrook,” Poss said.

“When nurses stand up, it seems like reaction from the corporate ownership is to retaliate and actually fire nurses, and that's just not acceptable,” said Richard Barrera, Secretary-Treasurer of San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council

They've filed unfair labor practice charges against the hospital for termination. Poss says she is now looking for another job but will not stop being an advocate for patients.

"It's all about profit over people. Profit over patients. I don't agree with that. I think the money should be spent more wisely and on patient care, making our hospital better,” Poss said.

NBC 7 reached out to Community Health Systems about the termination but did not hear back from them Thursday night.

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