Can I sue my employer for negligence if they knowingly allowed me to work after my licence had elapsed and didn’t inform me?

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

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Can I sue my employer for negligence if they knowingly allowed me to work after my licence had elapsed and didn’t inform me?

I am a RN. I was supposed to renew my license at the end of last month. I thought that I had paid, but apparently I did not. I failed to verify my license renewal had taken place. 4 days ago was the first day I was scheduled to work since the renewal date had passed. My employer was aware that my license had lapsed but allowed me to work anyway. Therefore, I practiced without a license. I have emails from my employer stating they knew my license had lapsed. Can I file a lawsuit against my employer for negligence?

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You negligently failed to renew your license, but you want to sue your employer because they let you work when you were at fault? The law does not work that way. A person who has done something wrong, either intentionally or negligntly, cannot profit by his or her misdeed. If someone else--like a patient--were injured by you practicing without a license, that person might be able to sue your employer for its negligence in employing you; but you may not. In addition, anyone, in any cause of action, may generally only sustain a lawsuit to the extent there has been some injury or loss; you have not described any loss the law can compensate a person for.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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