• Has anyone experienced a less than favorable employee review after cancer diagnosis?

    Asked by Gerbil61 on Friday, February 1, 2013

    Has anyone experienced a less than favorable employee review after cancer diagnosis?

    My 1st grandchild was born in Sept ii took a weeks vacation then my lumpectomy was Dec 12 where I was out for 4 weeks. Now radiation is everyday, the commute is 3 hours so I don't arrive to work til 10:30. Year review sited things such I didn't clean kitchen after 1 event, the gem had to cover for me doing grand baby's birth. I really believe its because I was out for the surgery but they can't used that its probably illegal. I am so stressed I don't know where to turn. How do you get your employer to understand that learning of cancer diagnosis is devastating and you might not always be on your best as you were before diagnosis. I'm thinking a out taking leave without pay until radiation is over. The stress is killing me.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Ican understand how you feel with thereview following your treatment. Employers have to be very careful about how they handle people with disabilities and cancer is a disability. Have you tried talking to your boss about the demands of your treatments and ways to make up for missed time? If you approach them with some ideas or a plan on how to make sure that things get done it willshowthem that youncare and are being proactive. That should at least buy you some good will and time to work things out. Good luck and let us know how it all works out.

      over 7 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Gerbil62, It is terrible to read posts like this, and it really makes you see the compassion or lack of compassion of your fellow man. I have never been judged for a disease, but I have been on the carpet as a nurse because I questioned the practice of a physician who put their paycheck above their patient. After the incident I noticed my reviews suffered, but my role is to advocate for my patients and I had to do what was best for my patients. I might suggest that you discuss this further with the people at patientadvocate.org. They are legal representatives who counsel cancer patients free of charge. They deal with this issue often. Be sure to document every situation. Best of luck to you, Carm.

      over 7 years ago
    • steelfish46's Avatar

      I had a similar situation during radiation. They were great during the chemo but I think it was becasue I worked from home duiring the week of chemo. But when radiation started I noticed that have it everyday they really became nasty and would call during the radiation treatment and expected me to come back to work. My radiation doctor told me rest was very important. So I became very dilligent to document every time they treated me badly. I missed two treatments because of them telling me work came first. My doctor then told me my life is more important and he would call the owner and tell them that. Well things got worse after finishing radiation. They let me go. I am still mad and should have filed a law suit. Keep your spirits up. The old saying what goes around comes around. Someday someone close to them will suffer this devastating desease. It isn't easy to go thru cancer. I am dealing with it again but my new job they are great. It helps working in the medical field. They know what it is al about.

      over 7 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Document all. Also ask for whatever you need due to disability. I was fired from my job....

      over 7 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      From what you have written, you are making assumptions without any evidence to warrant them. The entire point of a performance review is to identify how an employee is and is not performing at his/her best. Every one has has issues that may distract them from their jobs from time to time, whether that is cancer, another illness, a family issue or other personal issues. It is not a question of employers not understanding that, but there is always a reason for not performing at your best, so what would be the point of performance reviews if they were all overlooked? Your stress is the result of taking it personally or assuming that you are being singled out. Your employer and your job are not the source of your stress, you are.

      Peroll has made some very positive and practical suggestions.

      over 7 years ago
    • dealite2007's Avatar

      Gerbil61, I live in MD where you can get fired for any reason, just not the wrong reason. I suspect D.C. law is similar. Let me explain. I worked for a D.O.E. contractor for a long time..got pregnant...took three months off. And, although I was entitled to the time, when I returned within a month they had a cut-back and I was let go (the only one.) That being said, your supervisor will nit pick at you and they probably don't want to understand. I'd recommend you going to your HR department (or person) with a letter from your Oncologist outlining the possible side affects and your needs for your job. If you don't have an HR person, go to your supervisor(even though at this time they are not understanding). If you're a Fed, and if you get a bad review you have the right to appeal the bad review. Or, if you have any type of union representation, their attorney will accompany you to your appeal. I wouldn't recommend going on leave during your radiation-just talk with HR. It's not right, but that's how it works here in D.C. Just document everything, every conversation, everything.

      Hopefully, it won't come to this. I would strongly recommend you speaking with your rad onc. and see what they can provide you to give to your HR and supervisor.

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      YES!!!! yes, yes....and eventually it cost me my job....but the "witch" I worked for watiing till after I was done Tx to get on my case....I am happy to share privately my story, so fee free to email me if you would like....I've moved on since them and I am doing well in a new position (same job different place) and the people I work for/with actually think I'm competent!!!!

      over 7 years ago
    • DorothyV's Avatar

      Can you take short term disability? Your doctor can fill out the forms. It's under the Family Leave Act.

      over 7 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I can relate to much of your stress. I'm working during radiation, too, because my legally provided FMLA leave has been used up. It's extremely challenging physically and mentally. I feel like almost 100% of my time and energy is used up by work and treatments.

      I'm grateful that my boss seems willing to judge my performance last year on the time I was at work rather than than the time I was absent due to cancer. When I was struggling to write a self-performance review recently, the people on this site reminded me that I shouldn't apologize for something that was out of my control. I haven't actually had my performance review yet, but I'm hoping for a fair assessment.

      I'm sorry you have to deal with job stress on top of the stress of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Taking a week off to spend with your new grandchild or go to Tahiti or whatever is not an example of bad job performance, and neither is a legitimate medical leave.

      over 7 years ago
    • pll's Avatar
      pll (Best Answer!)

      Yes, I was denied a promotion with no concrete justification - very vague comments about supposed "behaviors". When asked for specific examples of these behaviors so I could correct them, none were available. A few months later, the opportunity arose again. I still had never received any examples or feedback. Prior to the interview, I recounted the reasons for the denial and advised I would contact HR if the promotion was again denied with the same reasons. guess what - the promotion was granted. big surprise.

      over 7 years ago
    • aquarian's Avatar

      To all who have answered this negatively, until one of you experiences the diagnosis of cancer no matter what type it may be, you have no right to judge the complaints of a cancer victim, I myself have stage 4 lung and bone cancer, I am fighting for my life, as this poster may have to do so either now or later and which can spread to areas such as myself, you have NO idea what it is like, take a look around you at your friends and family, the things you have worked for in life, your successes, then look at your future, what do you see?
      Be real! I don’t care what the HR people are supposed to look at, because they don’t look at it in this situation, they just look for adverse reasons adjacent as not to blame cancer on their decisions,
      I worked for a company call Safeguard, owned by Deluxe Check, the nation’s largest check producer, who owns Safeguard franchises all over the country, mine was owned by Rick Stallings of Georgia, I was a new employee covering the Northeast region, I became ill shortly after starting my position, I asked that until I have all my diagnosis completed and tests that I could not determine my traveling and timing, it took over 8 weeks of testing and now have all my results, with that said, they have cut off all company communications without notice, calls emails or such,
      As I mentioned my cancer is life threatening, my diagnosis gives me up to 5 years to live. Thanks Safeguard for standing by me, I am truly glad I did not give that company my full life’s attention at this point.
      To the poster here, I wish you the best, I am not an expert, but getting there as I learn more about my issues, and I do know you do need to stay on top of things even after remission. Employers do need to be better versed in cancer diagnosis, as well as the HR professionals, in which most HR's are nothing more than want to be lawyers who will never made the grade to even get into law school, and XXX kissers to the company. FYI I was also an employer for a major US/ German company for over 20 years prior!
      Even back then I would never put a distressed employee through any type of tests, reviews etc until all is settled with them.

      about 7 years ago

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