Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Explains: My Employer Says That If I Resign They Won’t Report Me to the Board?

I have seen this scene play out over and over—a dejected nurse sitting in my office holding a crumpled notice of investigation clenched in her hand. The feeling she feels is not only dejection but also betrayal. The sense of betrayal arises from the fact that the nurse’s former employer allowed her to resign and promised, in exchange for that resignation, that they would not report her to the board of nursing.

Nurses in that situation often wonder if the hospital’s former promise can be enforced. They wonder if they made a mistake ever believing that promise. She needs help with old allegations coming back to haunt her, maybe after she’s found new employment.

If you are a professional in Kansas or Missouri facing an allegation of misconduct or an investigation, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Your career, reputation, and livelihood are at risk, and the challenge facing you is one you cannot work your way through this alone.

Is My Employer’s Promise of Silence Enforceable?

If your employer offers to allow you to resign your position when allegations of misconduct arise, they often want you to decide right then and there. What should you do in that situation? My strongest recommendation is that you contact experienced licensing counsel immediately to get the perspective of someone who has seen this situation play out many times.

That is a difficult question, but here are some considerations to think about if you are offered. First, if the allegations against you are significant and based on strong evidence, it is unlikely that your employer can ignore them and let you resign. In this scenario, it may be better to double down and refuse to resign. That may seem counterintuitive, but it will likely have one of two results. First, it may expose that your employer just wanted to get rid of you and did not really have enough evidence to support a misconduct allegation. On the other hand, it may result in your employer filing a report of misconduct; while that is not a good outcome, it is better to deal with it while memories are fresh and you can organize a defense with the help of counsel.

In reality, unless your employer is willing to contractually sign away their ability to bring a claim against you, it is unlikely that you will be able to enforce a verbal promise not to report your conduct. While the people making that promise may be trustworthy, they may be replaced, and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to bind them by your informal agreement. Your employer is unlikely willing to sign a contract stating that they will not report your conduct. Accordingly, their promise really means nothing.

The other reality is that even if your employer upholds their side of the bargain and does not report you, someone else might. A disgruntled colleague, a former patient, or anyone else can still report what they believe is your misconduct. Accordingly, a promise from your employer—even an enforceable one—is not a foolproof way to prevent allegations from arising later. You should keep in mind that neither the Kansas nor Missouri boards of nursing care who makes an allegation. While you may have had an agreement with a prior employer, an allegation made by a colleague will serve the same purpose.

What If Old Allegations Arise After I Resigned?

What should you tell your new employer, if anything, if old allegations arise regarding your former place of employment? My recommendation is, after speaking with licensing counsel, to be forthcoming with your current employer. I have seen new employers be understanding when a high performing employee comes to them immediately with allegations arising from prior employment. If you take the opposite route and wait for them to be blindsided, their reaction is unlikely to be a positive one.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

You have worked too hard to attain your professional license.  Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through the misconduct hearing process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your patients and losing your career forever.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend you. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with nursing licensing issues.