In a September article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a whistleblower alleges executives of St. Therese of New Hope nursing home instructed staff to ignore protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The whistleblower was Brooke Peoples, who previously worked as an administrator at the facility in New Hope, Minnesota. She claims the instructions came from up top to violate federal and state guidelines related to visitations and quarantines for newly admitted patients, despite the more than 60 COVID-related deaths of facility residents. She characterized the executives’ approach to fighting the pandemic as “lax” and negligent.
One violation alleged by Peoples occurred when a parent of one of the managers at St. Therese was admitted to the nursing home from a hospital without following any of the federal quarantine guidelines for new admits. The action potentially exposed residents and staff to infection.
Peoples claims she was terminated less than a month after telling superiors the nursing home was endangering staff and patients by flouting COVID policies. She was told falsely that her firing was due to a loss of confidence in her leadership, which ran contrary to numerous excellent performance reviews.
The last year and a half has seen a major rise in COVID-related whistleblower cases, as a large number of companies and organizations have failed to take the pandemic seriously and jeopardized the health of their workers as a result.
Employers, especially those in the healthcare industry, are expected to follow state and federal guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus and to keep everyone safe.
If you believe your employer failed to take the pandemic seriously and put its employees at risk as a result, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group to discuss your legal options.