Kathyleen Sherrod, 69, who works part time at Signature HealthCare in Palm Beach, said she turned to Facebook to help keep residents cool after the facility lost power causing its air conditioning to stop functioning.
On Sept. 13, residents’ family members responded to Sherrod’s plea, providing industrial mist and portable fans to help keep the elderly patients comfortable, Sherrod said, the Palm Beach Post reported.
The following day, power was restored. A day later, Sherrod lost her job.
She had violated a workplace policy by painting the company in “an unfavorable light” on social media, her supervisor told her, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Sherrod defended herself, saying her posts were intended to help the nursing home’s residents and staff.
“She said, ‘You did nothing to help the building,’” Sherrod told the Palm Beach Post.
Sherrod admits she violated the policy, but said she wouldn’t have acted otherwise, even if she had been familiar with the rule.
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“I would do it again,” she said.
“I’m not the kind of person who is going to see that kind of suffering and do nothing. It really broke my heart. These patients mean something to me. That’s why I went on Facebook,” she said.
Representatives from Signature HealthCare could not be reached for comment Friday.
The facility released a statement the day Sherrod was fired saying that its “generators functioned as they should have to provide necessary power to our buildings. At no point did we completely lose communication modes to our buildings; together we walked through even the darkest hours of the storm as one family.”
Sherrod said she hopes officials will pass laws requiring nursing homes to be equipped with sufficient generator power to service air conditioners and other equipment.
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