Fired on my Birthday - page 3

Yesterday was my birthday - I'm 43 now. In my mail box I received a slip for a certified letter from my employer. I picked up the letter this afternoon as soon as the rapid filling of my colostomy... Read More

  1. by   discarded APN
    Dear Norbert, I'm so sorry. If it's any help please know that you are not alone. This happens to more people in the health industry than you could imagine. When I was terminated while on medical leave I was devastated at first, when I stopped crying I got a lawyer. It's a long and interesting battle, but one that I hope is worth it. I really hope that calling them on their little "dance around the laws" will help a lot of people. I keep hearing that "there are laws to protect you from things like that". I really hope that these laws are more than just urban legends. Employers seem to be very good at spinning things to their advantage.

    As far as COBRA goes. It does cover for 18 months from the time of termination. It took my former employer over 3 months to get the paper work to me. I then had to pay for those months in order to get my coverage back. That cost me one full disability check (before taxes) and we went from family coverage to single coverage or we wouldn't have been able to aford it. Since that is a continuation of the health insurance that you had while employed the "pre- existing condition" doesn't apply.

    Take care of yourself.
  2. by   RNinICU
    Norbert, So sorry about the shi**y treatment. I agree with the others. You will find another job, maybe even a better one. I will be praying for you recovery.
  3. by   pfleige
    Look in the occupationa Outlook handbook on the search engine altavista.com, there you will seee all the occupations in the health field from the top to the botttom, do not heasitate to ask for help if you need some retraining due to your condition.
  4. by   -jt
    <I am fired because I failed to return from a "personal" leave for the surgery and to regain my health for the reversal tomrrow.>

    Call the National Labor Relations Board in your city & get yourself a labor lawyer. The Family Medical Leave Act is a national law that says you cannot be fired for taking time off to care for yourself during an illness or for caring for a sick loved one. You have not even made a dent in the amount of time the laws allows you take off, so you may have a federal case here to sue your employer for re-instatement & lost wages. Id throw in penalties for duress, mental anguish, pain & suffering that caused your condition to be aggravated too.

    look it up: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/fmla.htm

    You are NOT powerless here. You have recourse to rectify this situation. Take care of yourself.

    PS
    Dont forget to report this to your state nurses assoc, whether you are a member or not.
    Last edit by -jt on Jun 29, '02
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    Referring to an earlier post.... ...

    To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must:

    (1) work for a covered employer;

    (2) have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months;

    (3) have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months; and

    (4) work at a location in the United States or in any territory or possession of the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    Sometimes I feel so discouraged when I hear of how the 'big guys' treat the 'little guys'....and how badly hospitals treat their injured nurses...'discarded like misfit toys' was a term used by a poster here and describes injured/sick nurses' situation very well, I think.

    They use and abuse us, work us short staffed with mandatory overtime under very stressful conditions...which is unhealthy in itself..... then if we get injured on the job or sick they trade us in for a younger model and add insult to injury on the way out the door........ this after all the years we have given of ourselves.

    Be aware.....this occurs too frequently, new nurses!

    ALWAYS take care of #1...do NOT trust your employer to care for you....take out short term and long term disability coverage and always have a backup plan in case you get sick/injured...

    Protect your health on the job... don't fall into the codependent trap facilities try to rope us into: this leads to the nurse abuses we see today.

    Hope you'll be recuping nicely soon Norbert...keep yer chin up!
  7. by   CATHYW
    Norbert,
    What a bummer of a birthday present! Maybe I missed it somewhere, but were you actually out on FMLA leave? If they terminated you earlier than 12 weeks, then you have a good legal case.

    I don't know if you remember me telling you of the hemicolectomy I had 7 years ago, but I really do know some of what you are going through. No matter WHAT else you have to spend money on, borrow the COBRA money from someone. You absolutely need the insurance to get the care that you need, and knowing that you have the insurance gives you an incredible peace of mind when all of this is going on. It can certainly be a scary time, physically, emotionally, and financially. Be sure to file for unemployment ASAP, if you haven't already done it.

    I hope you reversal goes well. I'll be thinking about you.
    Take good care of yourself!
  8. by   mario_ragucci
    This is rotten Norbert, and so many of us take our own health for granted. That sounds pretty insensitive, and remember you are not dealing with actual people perhaps, but a staffing machine.

    Keep your head and get through the emotional impact of all this. thats important to remember: Not to give up on you (not saying you are) but being upset can cause other things to go wrong too, let alone the effect it has on your personal brain chemistry.

    Your a cool person who will come through the surgeries/recoveries okay :-) I wish more power to you in the meantime while it's currently happening to you
  9. by   micro
    Norbert,

    What a birthday present.........
    Just take care of yourself and be better.........
    And other than the paycheck, you are better off without that callous uncaring employer.....

    Once you are back on top of this.....
    What a fantastic nurse "package" you are going to offer your next and better place of employment.....

    an experienced nurse
    a mature person
    and also a person that knows
    from the patient's perspective

    Norbert,
    a belated and an everyday cool wishes to you.........
    sorry i missed this thread.......
    take care of yourself
    Micro
  10. by   tonicareer
    yes in the us if you get sick they fire you and you have to get a lawyer to maybe get your job back. of course us has no national health coverage so if your poor and sick they send you in circles hoping you'll die so the doctors won't have to help you. money is the only answer to being sick in the us.
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    Unfortunately for Norbert, he was a new employee not yet off orientation when his medical crisis occured so not covered by FMLA.

    Since he had recent surger, this facility viewed him as a liability.
    Now of situation in my area where RN had abdominal surgery 6 wks prior to hire and was cleared for hiring. Two months later, abd wd dehised while lifting a patient. She is still out on work comp 18mo and 3 abd surgeries to repair adhesions annd recurrent dehisence.

    So sorry for this bad timing. Try to look at your growth form understinading what it was like to be a patient, increased knowedge base re ostomy mgmt and how you have an accreased appreciation for your colleagues. MAybe you'll find a postion in GI lab or desire to return to school for CWETN!

    Hope your reversal went well and you'll soon be posting again! EVERY voice counts here as we build our nursing BB tapestry.
  12. by   BadBird
    Norbert,

    I am sorry for the *******s of the world. I hope your reversal was successful and you heal quickly. I don't think you have to worry about finding another job with the shortage but It is a shame the way you were treated. Good luck
  13. by   Whisper
    What a crappy birthday present, I can not believe something like that could happen in a 1st world country.

    I hope you heal quickly, and find a much better job, there are plenty of jobs out there at the minute, and I am sure once you are recovered you wil have no problems walking straight into one.
    One that provides better medical insurance, I still can not get my head around that system.

    Perhaps that is the darker side of the American dream? Long live Public Health

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