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I think I'm going to lose my MIND!!!!!!
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mper1327
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:01 pm      Reply with quote
Hi guys. I have been MIA from the boards lately due to yucky health concerns. I have been having major stomach issues. I have had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for years. I would go through "episodes" and then be fine. Well, lately, I have been having major stomach pain, to the point where I don't know whether I'm going to throw up or pass out. They found that I have Diverticulosis, inflammation and infectious pockets of the intestinal lining. I have my colonoscopy tomorrow to see the extent, and take biopsies, etc. I haven't eaten in two days, had to take a nasty drink to "clean me out." They saw on my CAT scan a very large pocket of inflammation and infection.

Through all of this, I have been working. Then I started bleeding (use your imagination) and they took me off of work for a week so I wouldn't rupture anything, perforated bowel, etc. until they can figure out the cause and fix it. Bed rest.

Today, the day before my colonoscopy, my boss calls me and wakes me up out of a drug induced coma, and tells me it's "not working out." He was about to fire me, over the phone. I interrupted him and said I would be there Friday, and he wold me to come right to his office. I guess I'm getting fired for being really sick. He's gotten many doctors notes, the opportunity to talk to the emergency room doctor about my condition etc.

I really can't believe this. Can things get any worse? I'm scared to death, in pain, and bleeding, and now I may not even have a job.

Sorry to dump on you guys, but I don't know how much more I can take! Sad

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mper1327
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:32 pm      Reply with quote
Does anyone see a silver lining here? Pray

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Arielle
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:38 pm      Reply with quote
That's not dumping, sweetie! That's what the sisterhood is for. I'm so sorry to hear about your health issues. What you're dealing with is a real b*tch!

I'm sure someone who is an HR guru or employment law specialist will come along.

In the meantime:

In the future, never, EVER let yourself be browbeat into going back to work when you're really sick. It looks like you could have been there all the time. When that happens, tell your boss that you'll have to call him back. Call your doctor if you can reach him and talk things over with him. Then call your HR rep and tell them what's going on. Then DO call your boss back. Either tell him what the doctor said or tell him you're trying to reach your doctor and you'll have to call him back.

Ari

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salli
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:00 pm      Reply with quote
We need one of our attorney sisterhood in here. I think there is a law about this. I am so sorry you have been in such a bad way healthwise.

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katee
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:08 pm      Reply with quote
There should be a law about this, but there isn't. The only protection under the law is that, if you have health insurance, your employer has to offer to let you keep it for a year after you are terminated (at YOUR expense).

The most important thing is your health. Screw the job. You can always get another job. Just try to relax and take care of yourself.
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:19 pm      Reply with quote
I believe there is a law in Texas that you can have up to 90 days off (unpaid of course) if you are ill, you have immediate family that is seriously ill, maternity leave, etc. You must have been employed with the employer for one year. I don't know where you live, but it is possible, probably not likely, that your state has such a law. It's worth checking out.

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anomaly
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:22 pm      Reply with quote
Pray for you. I've found that when something bad happens, it always leads to something better... and when something very bad happens, it always leads to something extraordinary. May God give you health and peace. Hoping you get everything straightened out with your boss, but if you don't, there will be something better in store for you!

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guapagirl
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:22 pm      Reply with quote
are you really allowed to fire someone for health reasons in the US? Shock

I'm so sorry about all this. I am wishing a thousand pains and a thousand nights of impotence on your $itty ex boss. I really hope that your health problems resolve themselves.

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Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:50 pm      Reply with quote
I am so sorry to hear about that. What is wrong with employers today?! It seems everyone is expendable and replaceable. Well good riddance to him/her. You should threaten to sue just to see what they do and then agree on a nice big settlement. Bastards! Makes me really mad to hear that employers just don't seem to care about "people" anymore - it's all about the dollar. Try not to stress out over it and focus on taking care of yourself. When the universe closes a door, it opens a windown (so you can pull his head through it and slam it shut! LOL). But seriously, you can find much better! Get well soon! Smile

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Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:02 pm      Reply with quote
If you feel up to it, check with your HR department to see if you qualify for short-term disability (usually for illnesses and health issues that cause you to be out for more than 7 days, I think) or FMLA (unpaid leave for yourself, per the Family and Medical Leave Act).

Otherwise, I agree that this is just a job, and boss is a stupid a$$ to do this to you. If higher ups at the company are directing this to happen, truly, this is a company you don't need to put more of your energy into when you are back in good health.

I would document all of your contact with your boss and HR, for your records.
angelina
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:07 pm      Reply with quote
I think you will get a good settlement if you are told to leave. If not, call a lawyer. I am sorry to hear you're so unwell. I have a friend who has IBS - I try not to take simple day to day things like eating for granted now.
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:07 pm      Reply with quote
Yes. Screw the job. Your health is more important!!
Anna_in_Sweden
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:46 pm      Reply with quote
Guapagirl,

Some US companies might feel that they can but for something like this they can (and usually do) wind up getting sued.
mper1327
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:07 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks guys for the well wishes.

Unfortunately, I work for a reasonably small (but very expensive) inn and spa. They don't even have an HR department. It was the general manager of the entire hotel that informed me of this today. We don't get temp disability unless we have AFLAC for a year. I just can't believe they would treat me this way after I worked so much overtime for the other person who's always out, and spent every single holiday (including xmas) away from my family so I could work for them. At the time I thought I was just being an outstanding employee, but now I'm being discarded like yesterdays garbage. Mad

Unfortunately, from the CAT scan results, they think it's Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis, both of which are pains in the a$$, pun intended Laughing Both of which are exacerbated by stress. And now this!

I did talk to my fiancee's mom who used to work in HR recently, and they cannot fire me for this. I could sue, however, there would be a huge legal fee involved, and all I'm entitled to would be lost wages. However, I think in this situation, maybe some emotional suffering tacked on. The only thing I could really hope for would be threatening to sue, and maybe get a small severance or settlement. It's a long shot, but it's the only shot I have. My mom's trying to talk me into bringing in a voice activated tape recorder Friday. Not admissable in court, but still more ammo.... Wink

I have two kids, and I'm struggling to pay my bills (mostly medical) as it is. I feel so sick, I can't even take care of them. I hope they figure this out tomorrow and can start me on something that may make me feel better. Wish me luck, I go in at 10am for the colonoscopy tomorrow..... Crying or Very sad

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Lisey
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:13 pm      Reply with quote
I hope you feel better soon! Good luck!
katee
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:35 pm      Reply with quote
Anna_in_Sweden, I'm not sure where you're getting your information. And, I assume that one can always find an attorney somewhere to sue if they really want to, but unless someone can prove that their firing was based on discrimination because of age, race, sex, etc., there just isn't any basis in American law.

Salli is correct that some states have passed legislation mandating that someone who becomes ill, or who has a member of their immediate family who becomes ill, is entitled to the equivalent of 90 days unpaid leave, if they've been at the job for a year or more prior to becoming ill. However, the number of states with such laws is in the minority. Furthermore, 90 days without pay doesn't help most people in this situation.

Some of the major unions have managed to get illness clauses into their contracts. But, these days most labor unions are fighting givebacks rather than gaining new benefits.

There have been numerous attempts over the years to address this situation, but the proposals fail. Employers claim that they simply cannot withstand the financial strain of keeping people on the payroll who can't work. There are various disability assistance programs - some state based and some federal, none particularly good.

"Calling a lawyer" isn't going to do any good. In fact, a lawyer who is willing to take on a case like this is likely to be a hustler of one kind or another.

OK - just wanted to post that cause I hate to see mper1327 be given a bunch of false leads. Time to enjoy V-Day dessert Wink . Good luck tomorrow mper1327. Try not to worry.
mper1327
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:41 pm      Reply with quote
Ok Katee, that was just evil bringing up dessert. I can't have anything other than lime jello and ginger ale Laughing

Ok, ok, I forgive you Wink

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Lisey
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:51 pm      Reply with quote
Lime jello and ginger ale sound nice..! Drool
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:31 pm      Reply with quote
Okay, HR Manager chiming in....

Gotta agree with Katee on this issue. If your employer is "an employer at will" and does not violate rules based on discrimination of race, sex, etc.. etc...then he can let you go, though this is a sucky thing to do. He can more or less say "you know, this just isn't working out for ME".

If you had worked a year, then the FMLA comes into play - but I THINK an employer has to have 50 employees on staff for this rule to apply to them - gawd there's so many ins and outs of this one, I'll have to doublecheck. I'm not sure, Katee, but I think the FMLA is a federal mandate and applies to all states - but again, sort of makes no difference here as she's not eligible. And again, I could be wrong! (Some HR Manager, huh? Laughing )

COBRA (or continuation of health insurance) is also a federal mandate, and if you had coverage, then you should be offered continuation of coverage for 18 months, which I know is no picnic as the cost is usually the premium plus 1-2%. But, with all the medical expenses it sounds like you may be incurring, you may want to consider it. Especially if you do find other employment - if there was a 66 day lapse of medical insurance coverage then your new medical carrier can impose that "pre-existing condition" rule and not cover you for your illness for a certain time period (usually 6-18 months)

I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with this and a with an individual who doesn't seem to have an compassion.

Take care.

Maria Laughing

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Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:46 pm      Reply with quote
Katee,

I am getting my information based on my American friend who I just visited over the holidays in CA. She was fired from her lucrative financial job a few years ago for two reasons, she was a woman and she had Crohn's Disease. The employer made it a very hostile workplace for her to the point of calling her "weak" and some of the male employees making up rude names like, "old Crohn" because she has that disease. She proved that she was fired for those reasons and 3 (former) employees testified on her behalf. She received a nice settlement and later found a better job where she is quite happy. At her new job they have no problem with her disease.

And as I understand it, after living in CA for 14 years, each state can establish their own employment law. The laws set up in CA are different than in say SC.
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:54 pm      Reply with quote
Yes, Anna_in_Sweden - it's true that the law is set state by state and that there are also certain federal standards that must be complied with.

In the case of your friend, the fact that there was an element of sexual discrimination, and from what you described something that probably would qualify as sexual harassment, was probably the more compelling issue in her having won a settlement. Good for her!
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:07 pm      Reply with quote
Sexual discrimination yes... but I am not certain about the sexual harassment part. My friend didn't feel that it was. She said that they never made sexual remarks or such towards her, the mean comments had more to do with her being a woman and that she had a disease which was discovered after she became employed there about a year or so later. She was a hard worker, a financial planner (for one of those large NYSE companies) and a real team player and in the end they tossed her aside like a pariah. Honestly, I think that the real basis of her lawsuit was based on the question of would they have treated her like that if she were a man? She didn't think so and cited other employees who were frequently absent for various things, the difference was they were all males. In the end she won, they settled, she moved on and is working now at a smaller firm and is very happy.

With regards to this original poster with the IBS I have to wonder if maybe there is some discrimination going on there. It's hard to say but after learning the details about my friend I think that anything is possible.
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:36 pm      Reply with quote
Mper1327,

good luck tomorrow with a colonoscopy!

And hope you will get better soon.
Lucy.

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Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:03 am      Reply with quote
Sorry to hear you're having a rough time. I'm not sure how things work in the US (I assume that's where you are) but in the UK I'm pretty sure you can't be sacked for being sick. Especially if you have doctors notes etc and have informed your employer of your situation. I'm no expert though, but I'm sure there's someone on the forum who's more clued up than me. I hope there's some sort of resolution for you soon, and I hope you start to feel better soon too. Take care x
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Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:39 am      Reply with quote
Anna_in_Sweden wrote:
Sexual discrimination yes... but I am not certain about the sexual harassment part. My friend didn't feel that it was. She said that they never made sexual remarks or such towards her, the mean comments had more to do with her being a woman...


You wouldn't believe what qualifies as sexual harassment. Personally, I think alot of it is crap. It really does encourage a victim mentality...

Reading thru what everyone has had to say, I find a certain irony in it all. Everyone, of course, feels awful for what mper1327 is going through and, indeed, the outfit she works for isn't exactly a model of human compassion. But, I think alot of the anger/hostility is misplaced. They're a business. The regulations that Mariav cited are correct. Most of them don't apply to businesses with under 50 employees for a good reason: they simply can't afford it. Many small companies would be in bankruptcy before long if they had to comply.

We can argue that mper1327's employers lack compassion, but let's face it - they're a business and they're in the game to turn a profit. If they aren't happy with the situation, they're going to let her go. If you want to pissed, be pissed at the government. In every advanced sector nation, save Japan (where there is a cultural orientation against it), there is what I guess would be called a social safety net to address situations like this. The U.S. had none at all until FDR's presidency and, since the 1970s, alot of what was belatedly established during his presidency has been slowly chiselled away. THAT is where the problem lies. Businesses should not be expected to protect the general welfare of the population. But, the last time I read the U.S. Constitution, it is not only the government's "concern," it is their responsibility.

climbing down off my soapbox and shutting up
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