Fired on my Birthday

  1. 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 bag subsided from consuming the bowel prep for my colostomy reversal tomrrow.

    I've been out of work since late April because I had a ruptured diverticular pouch with a severe abdominal infection. After being in patient for 3 weeks I went to convales at my fathers house.

    I am fired because I failed to return from a "personal" leave for the surgery and to regain my health for the reversal tomrrow.

    What an insensitive thing to do to a person on thier birthday and while they are sick! What a way to shave pennies!
  2. Visit Norbert Holz profile page

    About Norbert Holz

    Joined: Jan '00; Posts: 71; Likes: 1
    Between positions on medical leave


  3. by   Figaro's Mom
    I am so sorry!

    Doesn't FMLA kick in while you're out sick? Who was your employer (so I know to avoid them in the future)?
  4. by   NurseDennie
    I hate that all this bad stuff has happened. I hope nothing good ever comes to the people who made this horrible decision, and that your surgery goes well and you are soon 100% and having a MUCH MUCH MUCH better job than the one you just lost.


  5. by   bestblondRN
    Hi Norbert,

    I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to you, healthwise and your little birthday "present". You should have recourse though. If you provide documentation (or have provided a physician's written statement) to your former employer, they cannot fire you while on a medical leave. When you were hired, the process for obtaining a medical LOA should have been provided to you. It should have also stipulated how long your position would be held, and under what conditions it would be posted. Did you receive anything from your employer? FMLA is good for up to 12 weeks per year, and you should have qualified for it with your condition.

    Please let us know more about what happened, and best wishes to you for a speedy recovery from your upcoming surgery!
  6. by   hoolahan
    Norbert, I had no idea this was happening to you, how horrible. Sounds like you have the makings of a law suit. What a kick in the a$$! See if you can at least pay a cobra on your health insurance to cover you in the meantime. I think they can not hold your position, but can't fire you under family leave act.

    Take care of yourself! Talk to you after your reversal!!
  7. by   slinkeecat
    I am so sorry this happened to you and I hope your reversal goes well. I also think you should check with a lawyer and see what recourse you have as far as being fired.... How awful. You are in my prayers darlin' and I hope things go better for you....Take care and to hell with those monsters!!!!
  8. by   lgcv
    Federal law mandates that you get 90 days for a serious illness. If you did not get that they have broken the law. After 90 days they can do whatever they want to unfortunately
  9. by   LasVegasRN
    ((((( Norbert )))))

    Folks, he has to check and see if he qualifies for FMLA - you have to have so many hours worked with the employer in order to qualify - I think 1250 hrs is the minimum, but you can do a search online to find out for sure.
  10. by   ma kettle
    Sorry this happened. But, maybe it is a blessing discise. There should be so many nursing jobs nation wide. Remember your health is more inportant. Take care of yourself and recover.
  11. by   Anagray
    Norbert, I hope u are feeling better and I am so sorry for what happened to you - it is certainly unjustified!
    I agree with the other poster - u will find a much better job.
    We all suffer losses from time to time and it seems devastating now, but u will not feel this way forever and u will be ok again.
    I suffered a significant loss 5 years ago and at the time, I secretly disdained every person who told me "everything happens for a reason", because for events like yours, there seems to be no possible excuse.
    Now that the time have passed, I realised that people who believe in " everything for a reason" slogan had their point.

    I hope u will also feel better emotionally soon and hooray to a new start. Hopefully, your next birthday will be exciting and full of joy.
    Good luck!
  12. by   Norbert Holz

    The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, administers and enforces the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for all private, state and local government employees, and some federal employees. Most Federal and certain congressional employees are also covered by the law and are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or the Congress.

    FMLA became effective on August 5, 1993, for most employers. If a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was in effect on that date, FMLA became effective on the expiration date of the CBA or February 5, 1994, whichever was earlier. FMLA entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons. The employer may elect to use the calendar year, a fixed 12-month leave or fiscal year, or a 12-month period prior to or after the commencement of leave as the 12-month period.

    The law contains provisions on employer coverage; employee eligibility for the law's benefits; entitlement to leave, maintenance of health benefits during leave, and job restoration after leave; notice and certification of the need for FMLA leave; and, protection for employees who request or take FMLA leave. The law also requires employers to keep certain records.

    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.

    It looks like "BAYCARE" did the legal thing. I hope that COBRA will be avaliable and I can somehow afford it!
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    ((((((((((norbert)))))))))))) hope you are on the road to recovery very soon and i hope things get better. good luck!
  14. by   Aussienurse2
    So just let me get this straight, you guys have to be working in order to get medical coverage, you work for a healthcare facility and they fire you for being sick????

    Sounds kind of screwy to me.... If I need to have something done I go to the hospital, see a doctor and get it done, for nada. I have had four c-sections, a spiral # in my foot, God knows how many sprained ankles( netballer) my kids have had grommet and all for the princley sum of NANA. And they say having a public health system doesn't work.......