• Wrongful termination?

    Asked by Stillsmiling20 on Wednesday, March 20, 2019

    Wrongful termination?

    I just got a letter from HR at my employer demanding that I come back to work 4 weeks earlier than advised by my doctor or be terminated . I am reeling from shock... I’ll talk to my boss tomorrow, I’m hoping the letter is a mistake... any advice is welcome!

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I am no lawyer, but I do know that cancer patients are protected under ADA in most cases (as in life, there are always exceptions). I would do some reading on the laws. This might be a good starting place: https://triagecancer.org/cancerrightslaw

      I didn't know that an employer could demand that you go against doctor's orders... Seems like that would open them up to some BIG liabilities.

      I'm sorry you're facing this ... it is the last thing you need to be worrying about.

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Here is another article we posted about your rights as a worker in the US according to the Americans With Disabilities Act. Click this link to read the article: http://bit.ly/2NwSUE6

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      You are protected by the American Disabilities Act. If you can't get this resolved on your own, get a lawyer experienced in employment law to represent you.

      about 1 month ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      After 30 years, I was threatened with termination if I did not return to full duty (while in active treatment). HR has no interest in you - they are hired to represent the best interests of your employer. Once they identify a "defective" employee, they work to get rid of you. They have no responsibility to offer you a different position. You either work as expected, or you are gone.

      I spoke with a prominent local labor attorney and he lamented the fact that they could do this, but they were within their legal rights. The moral and ethical ramifications are not addressed by the law. Your best bet is to ask your supervisor to intercede for you, but once you are on HR's radar, you will be in the hot seat.

      I stretched my light duty as far as I could and then retired. Sorru.

      about 1 month ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I have a friend who faced a similar situation. It was a different condition, not cancer. He was ordered back to work before his doctor released him and was then fired for not having a release. And he was ordered back the next day, so he didn't even have time to go back to the doctor. It was an ugly situation. I hope your company just got some dates mixed up. Good luck!

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      It might depend on where you live as to the laws that impact you. https://triagecancer.org/statelaws has a nice chart of what is in effect where.
      https://triagecancer.org/employment has a ton of information regarding employment rights.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      @BuckeyeShelby, what ended up happening to him? Did he get his job back? Employers can be so heartless. I was glad to leave mine when I did, but at least they worked with me every step of the way while I was working.

      about 1 month ago
    • macfightsback's Avatar
      macfightsback

      I agree with JaneA. There is FMLA then the American Disabilities Act. In NC you can use up to 3 months of FMLA, then you are required to return to work. Laws about how you can be terminated from employment vary from state to state. In NC your employer can fire you for any reason and does not need to.prove anything. Of course the hospital where I used to work in NC was very generous and welcomed me back after being out for almost 8 months, long after my FMLA expired. I would talk to a lawyer in your state they can inform you of your rights and where you stand legally regarding this. I hope all ends well for you.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Family Medical Leave Act and the American Disabilities Act are both Federal laws, so they SHOULD be the same in all states. If you read up on them, YOU will be the expert, and you can call the Federal agencies directly with your questions. I retired from the Federal Government, and when I went to work afterwards at other places, I was shocked at their lack of knowledge about Federal labor laws----or either their pretending not to know much, and instead "doing what they'd always done," because no employees knew any better.

      Therefore, don't depend on anybody's else's interpretation of the Federal laws----maybe no one has ever called their hand. Cover yourself by being sure that HR and/or your supervisor have the written info from your doctor saying how long you're expected to be off. Don't promise, just in case you have a setback. (Remember all medical information is confidential, so you can be vague if you want to. Just cover yourself with the doctor's excuse.)

      I have many links to info I would share, but my computer is acting up right now. Let me know if you don't know how to search labor laws, and I may recover my links later.

      Remember cancer is a protected disability, and they have to make REASONABLE accommodations for you to be able to work, including a different job or adjusted work hours, all of which is explained by the Department of Labor links, or call on their 1-800 numbers.
      Best wishes.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Facts about ADA: https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-ada.html

      Under Accommodations, see Question #15 specifically about your current situation:
      https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/cancer.cfm

      Enforcement guidance (probably more for the employer):
      https://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html

      FMLA INFO:
      https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28.htm
      https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28a.htm
      https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28f.htm
      https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28g.htm

      Let me know if you need any more links. One thing to be sure to note is eligibility is dependent on how many employees are at your workplace. One law requires 15 or more employees and one law requires 50 employees.

      I think this all assumes you are a permanent full-time employee. Best wishes. Please update us.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Department of Labor contact info for questions on the FMLA:

      https://www.dol.gov/whd/contact_us.htm

      about 1 month ago
    • cards7up's Avatar
      cards7up

      Did you apply for FMLA with your employer? This is important to do. Technically, they only have to hold your job up to one year, then they can let you go without a reason. Did the letter give you a reason?

      about 1 month ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      LWC - my friend didn't pursue legal action. I think he should have, but he opted not to. He found a job w/a non-profit and is much more happy there. He always wanted to work for a non-profit, so ultimately it was a win for him.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Yes, it's a necessity to have applied for FMLA to be protected by it!!

      FYI, your complaints filed with the government are free, and employers will take notice if they receive a Federal government letter. Don't use an attorney unless you have extra money!

      about 1 month ago
    • Stillsmiling20's Avatar
      Stillsmiling20

      Thank you everyone. It appears that since I work on tribal land (sovereign nation) that the ADA doesn’t apply. I have great faith, so if this door is supposed to close, there is another door opening that I am just not aware of yet. I appreciate all of your suggestions and advice. And I thank God for the Affordable Care Act.

      about 1 month ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Contact The Disability Rights of Washington. My brother is head of Disability Rights of Idaho and he says they are very active in Washington.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      That's a wonderful attitude, @Stillsmiling20. It isn't very easy always to realize it at the time, but I have always found, too, that when God closes one door, He opens another, better door for you. It's the time between the closing of one and the opening of the next that can be frustrating and scary sometimes. Best of luck!!

      about 1 month ago

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