‘Author of her own downfall’ – Nurse fired for anti-vax Facebook posts loses appeal

Former health workers gathered outside the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board earlier this year to protest the vaccine mandate. Photo / Paul Taylor

A nurse who was fired after calling the Covid-19 vaccine a ‘murderer’ on her Facebook page has lost an appeal against what she called a wrongful dismissal.

“I never thought for a minute that my Facebook posts were wrong or could get me out of my job. For me, I was just sharing news and stuff and making a few comments myself,” he said. she said in memoirs to labor relations. Authority.

“I certainly don’t believe my opinions on any subject affect my ability to work as a palliative care nurse.”

Turner said she planned to appeal the decision, but did not wish to comment further when contacted by Open Justice this morning.

Amanda Turner was employed by the Wairarapa District Health Board for six years until she was dismissed in April last year after posting comments on Facebook that questioned the validity and effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.

She argued that the dismissal was wrongful and had pleaded her case to her employer in several mediations in the month after her messages were sent to DHB by an unidentified source.

However, she was fired from her job a month later and took the matter to the Labor Relations Authority, which said in a ruling released this week that the hospital had been justified in firing her.

“I conclude that Ms Turner was then the author of her own downfall in the way she approached the two disciplinary meetings,” noted ERA’s David Beck in his decision.

“Ms. Turner has sought to vigorously substantiate her posts and has shown no insight into the content of her posts and any connection to her professional duties.”

Turner was described in the ERA ruling as being “aggressive” in meetings with the DHB and refused to acknowledge that her Facebook posts could have brought the nursing profession into disrepute.

“It is apparent that Ms. Turner’s then high state of anger may have blinded her to any focus on her own conduct,” Beck said.

In her submissions to the ERA, Turner said she was aware of the DHB’s social media policy, but did not believe it extended to private Facebook posts.

“Instead, Ms. Turner sought to justify her views and portray herself as the victim,” Beck said.

“Ms. Turner’s problem is that she failed to reconcile the potential harm of her Facebook posts with her professional obligations and failed to take note of the impact of this on her position in the community.

“I acknowledge that some of the posts were genuine political comments and not offensive.”

Turner described the process as a “witch hunt”, but in other evidence he went on to say that “in hindsight, I wouldn’t do these posts again.”

Turner, who was not vaccinated against the virus herself, would likely have lost her job when the government mandate requiring nurses to have had their first shot by November last year was introduced.

By the end of November, more than 1,400 healthcare workers had missed that deadline and had resigned, been resigned or fired from their jobs.

Earlier this year, a former ACC nurse and clinical advisor was fired from her job and can no longer practice medicine after she posted online threats against medical professionals involved in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. .

In a video shared on social media, she called on the Prime Minister, the Minister for the Covid-19 response and the Director General of Health to “cease and desist” in the deployment of the vaccine for 5 to 11 year.

Lola R. McClure