• Has anyone been demoted, had hours cut back, been fired, or "layed off", after getting your diagnosis?

    Asked by MyLungCancer on Sunday, June 7, 2020

    Has anyone been demoted, had hours cut back, been fired, or "layed off", after getting your diagnosis?

    I was told when I was diagnosed that there were "no worries", your job will be here if you have to take off work, we will accommodate. Turns out words are cheap. Now I'm starting to feel some heat for missing work. I'm not out running up and down the bar streets, but at treatments, surgery, procedures, or basically just trying to survive. I'm just looking to the future if they try to run me out. Anyone have any experience with this type of thing?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      At the time of my first diagnosis 32 years ago, I was fortunate enough to have an employer who backed me, paid my weekly salary no matter how many hours I missed that week, and was supportive. Sadly, there are many businesses' that do not follow that line of thinking these days.

      27 days ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Yes, I was put on a Performance Improvement Plan just 30 days after my last chemo. I was given goals that no one could possibly accomplish. 91 days later, I got a phone call from my boss that I either had to resign or they would begin the termination process. I was old enough to retire so I resigned rather than be humiliated by termination.

      27 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My work just made my life miserable enough that I wanted to quit. They didn't make me quit nor did they ever write me up or anything. They were actually generous about letting me leave an hour or two early nearly every day and never said anything about the work I missed (fortunately, I rarely missed full days).

      However, after a year+ of working through chemo under very emotionally stressful conditions, I decided it was time to take medical retirement. I applied for social security disability and for my retirement benefits and have been happily retired now for 6-1/2 years or so. We have far less money but I love being retired!!

      27 days ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Preparing for retirement in 2008, you-know-what struck. My co-workers donated 10 months of their sick leave to me, allowing me to participate in a clinical trial in 2009. At the end of 2009 it was return to work or be fired. They assigned me "light duty" - 40 hours per week! What's light about that? I asked them and gave them a letter from doctor. 20 hours increasing as tolerated. Come May, it was return to 10 hour night shifts as a first responder (while in treatment) or be terminated. They agreed to 30 more days and I retired with the "Golden Boot" up my backside. What they did not know was that the extra 30 days gave me $50/monthly extra in my retirement check. Ten years later, I am at $6000 extra and counting. Trick on them, the unwashed illegitimate children!

      27 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @MyLungCancer, you state "...Now I'm starting to feel some heat for missing work. I'm not out running up and down the bar streets..."
      You are right, words are cheap and there are lots of "promises" of support, but then it comes to "bottom lines" and other people "having to" take on some project or add a little something to their plate that you were covering under the umbrella of "your responsibility." I can almost guarantee you that the whiners and complainers are people who have never faced cancer as a patient or a caregiver. It gives a whole new perspective.

      The worst "I've got your back! Just kidding" came when I was working a closing (outside of my usual responsibilities because my co-worker had strep, so I stepped in to TRY to help.). We were supposed to have an exchange but I was supposed to be at an appointment about an hour away two days before my scheduled lumpectomy. I told the person on the other side of the transaction that they needed to come to my office before 2 p.m. or I had to leave for an appointment. It was about 1:55 and my supervisor told me to go ahead and leave and he would handle the exchange. I left and went to my appointment. I arrived in the office and turned my phone to silent. I finished my appointment by about 3:45 and when I turned my phone back on, there were literally 15 messages from the other side about how they showed up at my office and no-one was there for the exchange. I called back to ask them what time they showed up. I was told "about 2:05." Well, they were "late." Only 5 minutes but my supervisor is a stickler. I called back and said I could meet them that evening or come to their office the following morning. The attorney on the other side started cursing at me and demanding to know where I had been and what I could possibly thing was more XXX important that this closing. I told him that my attorney/supervisor had promised me he would be there for the exchange at 2:00, but they were late and he left too. I told him I was sorry that the exchange hadn't taken place, but all of the funds had been wired and all money distribution, except my supervisor's fee, had been handled so we could just get our money in the morning. Well, this other attorney said "Well, we can work it out but I still want to know what the XXX you were thinking was so XXX important that you could just bail on your responsibility." I asked him if he REALLY wanted to know and he told me he did. So I told him "Well, I had to go get a pre-operative implant for my surgery for breast cancer on Thursday." You could have heard a pin drop. He sheepishly apologized and said "Well, you need to make sure everything is done before you make any more plans. Maybe this was a learning experience with you."
      My attorney got mad at me because I told them the truth in no uncertain (and likely not pleasant terms, and said it was none of their business (which I agree, it was not their business) but I told him he put me in the position for having to answer that question by leaving.
      At the end of the day, even if you have the best reason in the world, if your life interferes with someone else's money or time, they will come down and make your life unhappy.
      I don't give a rip anymore. My body, my health and my peace of mind come before anyone's project or paycheck.

      27 days ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Being a business owner for over 40 years, and a cancer patient for 32 of them, I can see the viewpoint of both sides. The business side is pretty simple, if you start costing us money, you're going to be in danger of losing your job. This is usually more prevalent with small mom and pop size businesses that don't have a war chest full of money. In my case, if one of my employees goes down with an injury or illness, we cannot afford to pay 2 people to do one person's job. We have recently had a couple of employees that had different problems, but so far we have been able to carry them. But it's all about the numbers, if we start having more money going out than coming in, something has to give.

      The larger corporations are more able to carry the burden of someone not coming into work, leaving early, or having a drop in production. At this point, it's likely to come down to your perceived value to the company. Are you worth having them carry you through this down spell, or is it better for them to cut ties now and replace you? It's illegal for a company to fire someone simply because they got sick. But we all know that enough excuses to fire you can easily be manufactured.

      From the patient side, it sometimes doesn't matter how good of an employee you are or have been if they can't afford to carry you, you're gone. I tried to make myself useful as possible when I was diagnosed the first two times while working for someone else. I worked weekends when needed, traveled when I was able and just tried to make up for what I knew was a drag on the company.

      27 days ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      After reading these, I'm so glad that my husband worked for a company with a lot of heart and money. He worked for Wakefern Foods which is the warehouse for ShopRite for 22 years. He was finally in a job that he loved when he woke up in the middle of the night with a stroke in 2004 at age 52. He worked very hard to get back to his job but it wasn't to be. They set him up with an attorney to apply for SSDI and it went through the first time which you know can be a battle. His cancer didn't hit until 2013. His company covered his health insurance until he turned 65. It covered all his OT/PT, hospitializations, tests, treatments and meds. We didn't have to worry about anything. We were SO very blessed and I'm very grateful

      26 days ago
    • Sasukesuma's Avatar
      Sasukesuma

      My husband worked for a large international tire company. He voluntarily stepped down from store manager to salesman when he was first diagnosed. When he was deemed terminal they suddenly eliminated his job. He had worked there for 42 years. At that point he was still the number 5 salesman in the country. Home Depot hired him knowing he was terminally ill and treated him so well until he was unable to continue.

      26 days ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar
      Paperpusher

      Sasukesuma--I have heard nice stories about how Home Depot treats their employees but nothing as special as this. Kudos to them. I will be shopping there more than I normally do.

      26 days ago
    • Shoeless' Avatar
      Shoeless

      My boss' wife was a survivor. When he learned I had cancer he called me into his office to tell me I had absolutely no worries or issues whatsoever. I never had to worry about it.

      26 days ago

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