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Any and all advise apprectated


Liz13

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I work for a very large firm. I have been with them for 5 years. I am very good at my job. I have short term, long term disability and 200,000 in life insurance that I opted for when I started working. When I was DX, I went on short term during treatments. I could have at that point stayed disabled, but went back to work because they needed me. I also needed them. Work as added greatly to my recovery. I sold my house ( at a 50,000) loss and moved for my job in Dec. Today I was fired, for incompatance. No problems at work, no complants, just fired. I have lost all my insurance and my reputation, not to mention my income. And truck, and phone!! I will never be able to get life insurance again. That was my childrens inheritence. They got a new insurance company in June and the enrollment period is the month of July. I think this is what is happening. I will be consulting a lawyer, but wanted to know if anyone else has had this happen? And what did you do? Hugs to all, Liz

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Wow. I am shocked. I am so glad you are going to an attorney-- make sure it is a good one in employment law. Are you in an at-will state? At-will means the employer can fire you for any reason not illegal and you would have signed something upon hire that you understood that. Even in an at-will state without any cause you may have a discrimination claim due to age or disability. If they gave a reason of incompetence they have to back that up so I think you have a good case since you received no discipline prior to discharge.

Make sure you get the COBRA information on your health insurance so you can continue that until you find something else-- and file for unemployment- at least it is something.

I am willing to bet you end up winning this without going to court. Your lawsuit will go to their liability insurance carrier who will decide the best approach which is usually offering money rather than fighting it. Take part of the settlement and invest it for your kids. Good luck-- let us know how this goes, many have had similar issues with employers.

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Sorry about the job Liz.My situation was a little like yours. I wasnt released from my doctor to go back to work yet and my short term disability was running out so I signed up for long term disability thinking I could go back to work at a later date.I was wrong.When I signed up for long term that ended my emplyment with them They still have to cover me with insurance thru cobra but that now costs me 500. a month where it was 15. a week when I was working. I also lost my life insurance and and funeral policy. But all in all I dont really think I could have went back and done the job anyway so they kind of made the decion easier for me.I am on disability now and will be elgible for medicare in January.Those big companys cover there butts pretty good.I just focus on now how blessed I am to still be alive and all the good things and people in my life.I hope things start going better for you. May God bless you.

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Liz, Oh that really stinks...As an HR Director, I don't normally give Human Resources advice from the employee's perspective, but in your case, I'm going to make an exception!

First off, you say they are a very large firm - 50 or more in a 75 mile radius? If so, they are required to permit you time off with return to work protection and continuation of benefits for 12 weeks in every 12 calendar months, under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Second, you say you moved for the job - did they relocate you, or did you move yourself? If they relocated you, even in any small amount, you have a toehold in that they certainly wouldn't move someone they thought to be incompetent, now would they?

Third, regarding insurance company...If they already have the new insurance company, your claims experience has already been factored into the premium costs (probably months ago), and so them firing you today won't do anything to change their premiums for this year, and maybe not even next year, but some managers don't know that.

Did they give you anything in writing about why you were being terminated? Do you have copies of your personnel file? If not, I'd call and DEMAND copies. (Not that they have to give them to you, your personnel file is a company record). But, you will be able to tell from their response how nervous they are. Was an HR person involved in the termination process, or just a manager? If just a manager, call HR! (We hate to be left out). If HR and a Manager, go up the chain both in HR and Management, and try to appeal their decision. Threaten discrimination to everyone you talk to. Let them know you are serious - eventually you will get someone who knows the true cost of an action like this!

Someone mentioned "at will employment". While that's a nice concept, it usually doesn't go very far, because most companies don't just randomly fire someone periodically because they are "at will". There's usually another motive, and one easier to find. Most companies have a pattern and practice of only terminating employees for "just cause". They've already told you they aren't employing the "at will" doctrine by giving you a reason. Now they will have to prove it - and demonstrate that you were treated the same as others who were fired for cause. They will likely have given others opportunity to improve their performance.

Finally, I encourage you to utilize the free resources that are available to you - the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and your state Department of Labor (can be called many things). You normally would file a complaint with the state, and they will simultaneously file it with the federal branch (EEOC), and will help you write it up. They will investigate for you, and if at the end, there is no resolution, they will try to get the company to mediate for settelement. If you still can't come to agreement, you can ask them to issue what is called a "right to sue" letter, which tells the civil courts that you have tried to fix this through the administrative agencies (some courts won't entertain a civil suit if administrative remedies have not been pursued).

Finally, and I apologive for the length, from what you've said, I think your best claim would be for "retaliation for having used FMLA". This is currently a hot topic in adminstrative agencies!

Best of luck to you,

GinnyB

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Liz,

I am so sorry to hear this. What you just described has been Bill's biggest fear. It still is. You so don't deserve this.

GinnyB gave some invaluable information and I hope this helps you get what you deserve.

I recently took 30 days of the FMLA (all I was eligible for because I just started). I noticed in the paperwork that it includes the person who is ill as well, not just the person caring for them. I don't know how much time you can get, but I think if you've been with the company over five years, you can get quite a bit.

You'll be in my prayers, Liz. I'm glad you're going to fight it because I think you'll win.

Hugs,

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Fight this. You must feel stunned and blindsided, but gather yourself and do everything you have been advised to do. This is wrong, and I believe you can win it. I am not in HR, but manage lots of people and work closely with HR folks in all of my personnel actions. I believe, "at will" state or not, that your former employer is on thin ice on this one. Good luck.

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Oh Liz I am so sorry! :( Everyone has given you such great information and I just wanted to add, you might want to apply for Social Security Disability ASAP. Being you are a stage IV, you will qualify.

Your in my prayers and we're here when you need to vent or scream or what ever!! ((((LIZ))))

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So sorry about the job, Liz. I live and work in FL (an at will employment state) and know that in my company, before anyone is terminated for "job performance" reasons, much is done to lessen any chance of a lawsuit. For example, meetings between the employee, manager, and HR are held, everything is documented, signed by all parties, and copies are given to all parties. I would bet that your company is expecting you to take legal action and will have a settlement offer in place. Get a really good lawyer. You are probably in multiple protected classes. And your dirtbag former employers can go suck a duck. Hang in there.

Trish

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Liz,

I'm so sorry to hear about this. I second all the advice above and will add one piece--COBRA your health insurance if you haven't already. They have to allow you to continue for 18 months (you pay the totel premium). it can be very expensive, but mainting your coverage means that when you get a new job they can't exclude your pre-existing conditions from your new health insurance. If you need to, at the end of 18 months you can usually enroll in a state plan that maintains your coverage so that there will be no pre-existing exclusion.

That option's not availabe on life insurance, but you can keep your health insurance!

One more thing--from this point forward document every communication you have with your company and/or their insurance providers.

Susan

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Reading these posts, you have gotten some good advice. I don't have any to add, but just wanted to tell you how sorry I am that this happened to you. I'm outraged that it could happen! I am lucky to work for myself and got individual health insurance 6 months prior to diag.

Good Luck, please keep us updated.

-E

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Liz,

I am shocked that they could do something like this but Iam condident this will be settled.

You got excellent advice firsthand from an expert from HR.

I am just sorry you are even going through this as your plate is already full.

Just like fighting LC it is now time to put on those boxing gloves and start the battle. You will win this!

((((((((LIZ))))))))))

Please keep us posted

Maryanne

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Liz,

I've emailed you twice and tried calling you. This sucks BIGTIME! Can you either email, call, or both as I need to talk to you about this. Did you find a lawyer in St. Pete yet or did you go over to Tampa? Hope to hear from you soon...I'm so sorry this has happened as I know it's the last thing you needed to deal with but you know I'm here if I can help in any way. Hope to hear from you soon!!!

Eileen

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