Image of male nurse pushing senior woman in a wheelchair in nursing facility

A Florida nursing home fired one of its nursing assistants in September after she requested help for the facility on Facebook in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

When Kathyleen Sherrod reported to work at Signature HealthCARE of Palm Beach on Sept. 11 after Hurricane Irma had hit the region, she found the facility without power to its air conditioning system, according to the Palm Beach Post. 

When conditions hadn’t improved the next day, Sherrod took to Facebook to request help from friends, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and power company Florida Power & Light.

The facility’s power was restored on Sept. 14, two days after Sherrod made her Facebook requests. A day later, Sherrod was fired from Signature, reportedly told by her supervisor that her posts had violated a company policy prohibiting employees from making comments online that paint the provider “in an unfavorable light,” the Post reported. 

Sherrod said she wasn’t aware of the social media policy, which is included in her employee handbook, but said she wouldn’t have changed her actions, regardless.

“I would do it again,” Sherrod told the Post. “I’m not the kind of person who is going to see that kind of suffering and do nothing.” 

Peggy King, vice president of marketing and brand development for Signature, said in a statement to
McKnight’s Long-Term Care News that she couldn’t comment on specifics of the incident due to confidentiality concerns. But she did express the provider’s thankfulness for employee efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

“Our facility has a long history of providing exceptional care to our residents and their families, especially during times of great need like Hurricane Irma,” she said. 

“We are committed to ensuring their physical and emotional wellbeing, at all times.”