SACRAMENTO — A Folsom woman claims she was fired from her job as a nurse at Kaiser Permanente Roseville after a comment she posted to her Facebook page.
The woman, who will not be identified because she has yet to provide FOX40 with a comment, said the firing was against her First Amendment right.
In the post, the woman wrote, “Yeah but he was running from police jumping over fences and breaking into peoples houses… why run ??!!! He deserved it for being stupid.”
The comment was in reference to the shooting death of Stephon Clark by Sacramento Police officers in mid-March.
“There is a lesson to be learned here that before you say something on social media, before you post it, I think you have to be aware of your employment and whether that will look just disfavorably on your employer,” said attorney Mark Reichel.
Reichel echoed the statement FOX40 received from Kaiser Permanente, which said in part: “We want to emphasize that the comments expressed by this employee, who is no longer with the organization, do not in any way reflect Kaiser Permanente’s views or actions.”
Kaiser Permanente Northern California officials confirmed to FOX40 the woman was no longer with the hospital but did not confirm she was fired. The full statement from Kaiser reads:
“Kaiser Permanente does not tolerate hate or discrimination and has a long history of embracing diversity and inclusion — it remains a place where we welcome everyone. We want to emphasize that the comments expressed by this employee, who is no longer with the organization, do not in any way reflect Kaiser Permanente’s views or actions. We are proud of our Kaiser Permanente care teams and staff who work every day to provide compassionate, high quality care and services to our members and patients.
We are very much a part of the wonderful and rich diversity of the communities we serve and feel a deep responsibility to them. We are deeply saddened by the events associated with Stephon Clark’s death, and will continue to do our part to make sure the community is healthy, safe and inclusive.”
Reichel said the First Amendment argument would be stronger if the woman was just a citizen speaking out about government. However, as an employee, it depends what she signed when she started at the hospital.
“Like any employer, and Kaiser’s a very large employer, they have very strict requirements, employee handbooks, employee contracts and rules and regulations for employees that specifically address posting on social media things that are inconsistent with the mission of Kaiser,” Reichel told FOX40.
The woman started a GoFundMe account hoping to raise $25,000 for rent and food for her and her dogs. As of Monday afternoon, donations for her had eclipsed $1,500.
On the donation page she writes, “I am not a hateful or discriminatory person. As a person of faith, and a nurse, I love all people and treat everyone equally.”
FOX40 reached out to the California Nurses Association who represents Kaiser Roseville nurses, however, they declined to comment.