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CVS Fired me for being "sick" :(

RebeccaBenoit's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2014

CVS corporate in Woonsocket, RI fired me from my IT specialist position, and told me I was welcome to come back when I was healthy. They told me that they had not been informed of any health issues before they hired me, and that they were not willing to work with me in my "current condition". Though I scheduled my surgery on a Friday (mesenteric biopsy), so I could heal over the weekend, and my performance, productivity, and attitude had not suffered in ANY way -they let me go. They escorted me from the building as if I were a criminal.

Hearing that you have cancer is hard. Hearing that it may have come back is harder. I am a single mother. I'm just trying to survive. No one in my situation deserves this. 

I am hopeful that you all will read this, and SHARE it, and ask your friends to share it. People deserve to know what kind of company CVS really is. 

I wonder how much money they make off of us cancer patients every year...


My name on Facebook is the same as my user name here. Please feel free to send me a request, and to share this with as many people as possible. 

Thank you!



Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1327
Joined: Oct 2013

Wow, I am so sorry for all you are going through. How did they know you have cancer? Until there is a pathology report no one knows for sure. Not sure what your status/condition is at this time. But how did they know?

I would consult with an employer-employee dispute type attorney. I am currently seeing one to appeal losing my LTD benefit for another condition after I was already getting that benefit. So basically I am appealing the insurance company that contracts with my former employer. I am on disability so no longer working, yet still able to get that benefit.

Consult with an attorney. I am not sure they can just up and fire  you like that unless you are still in your probation period. Are you?

Still have hope and don't give up hon~

Warmly, Jan

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Rebecca.. I take it you are in Wisc,  And I do not know what laws you have there.. but you may want to phone a labor lawyer.  Sounds like a wrongful termenation.  Additionally, IF you have Kidney Cancer, that is a registered Disability, so you may have rights and benefits there as well.  Sorry you are going through this...  talk about adding insult to injury...

Good Luck..


icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3354
Joined: Jan 2010



I googled CVS fires worker and it showed how CVS is trying to control their employees health. I think CVS would lose  a lot of prescriptiom business if it fired a worker for catching cancer. The more difficult area is their use of heath qestionaires to fire workers. I would also seek help from your congressman if he is not on big Pharms payroll already.

 Also seek the help of the more liberal congressman from RI who may be embarrased from CVS's behavior.



dhs1963's picture
Posts: 513
Joined: May 2012

Talk to an empoyment lawyer who specializes in ADA issues.  Frankly I am shocked they would do this...shocked they would admit to it...Rather, they would usually lay you off for unspecified reasons.

Good luck!

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

And while it is still fresh in your mind, write down dates and times, what was said and who you spoke to.. and any written communications.   Oh and make sure it is a GREAT lawyer, not just a cheap one.  Ask questions just like we do for hiring a doctor.  The ones that sound the cheapest often end up with them getting the most money..


Frank302's picture
Posts: 71
Joined: Feb 2013

I've always been self employed so unfortunatly I have no advice but you certainly have my full support .

For them to fire you is such rottin and crooked lowdown nonsense that I'm seeing red right now . Whether this turns out in your favor or not everyone I know is going to hear about it .

Best wishes .


RebeccaBenoit's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you very much, everyone.

Posts: 67
Joined: Jul 2013

When is your test scheduled?  Prayers that it is something simple like some have mentioned. I hope you are at a hospital where you get the results same day or at least same week. It's hard to believe how long some of the people on here have to wait for their scan results.  My son gets scans,blood work and chest done and results before we go home that day. 

CommuterMom's picture
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014


I would make sure to make the news of your termination as public as possible.  CVS is a HUGE company that doesn't need any public crititicism.

You deserve better!

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

Sorry C.M. but I disagree with your suggestion.  I would NOT contact any media, no Facebook etc about this for now.  One of your bargaining chips is the possibility of them sweeping it under the rug, so to speak.  So, find a lawyer first, many of them will give you a free first consulation.  Find one you trust and see what he/she advises.   

I know we all want to help each other, but "me" comes first.  If you get a great settlement and have to sign a form saying you won't discuss the terms, then I would do it..  If they are smart (and they are) they will try to settle and blame it on some rogue employee.

Should you not get any satisfaction from/with the lawyer, then go whole media as a last resort.


TillieSOK's picture
Posts: 252
Joined: Jul 2013

Well, I'm not going to be using CVS anymore! I cannot imagine a company terminating you because you have cancer!

cran1's picture
Posts: 139
Joined: Mar 2013

Hang in there Rebecca. If you play your cards right it sounds like you might get em where it hurts....the wallet!

Jojo61's picture
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Rebecca,

I live in Canada, so I am not sure if you have the same laws in the US about privacy? We have laws here that forbid them having that kind of info. When I told my employer that I was going to be away, they couldn't even ask what was wrong....just how long did I need to be off.

It is discriminatory to hire on the basis of your health. So they had no right to know that you had prior health issues. I cannot believe that they are doing this to you. I hope you get a great lawyer. Hang in there.



CommuterMom's picture
Posts: 120
Joined: Jan 2014

You may be right Ron, but if the labor laws indicate a just cause for termination I would go public.  I'd think they would want to keep you quiet.  I have been up to that office in Woonsocket, and I know they have about 6000 plus stores.  It's a disgrace!

todd121's picture
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

I was shocked to hear your story and a story told to me by one of my old high school buddies. He worked for Home Depot. He fell at home in his driveway and broke his clavicle. He said they let him go and told him he could reapply after he healed.

I'm so naive. I didn't think companies did this. I didn't even think it was legal.

I didn't realize how lucky I was that I got put on disability and got to come back to my job after 6 weeks.

I'm so sorry. I'd write all of your government representatives. I still wonder if what they did was legal? It sounds like an ADA violation or something. I don't get it.

I shop at CVS all the time. I'm going to try hard to find an alternative. This really makes me angry.


Billy's Wife's picture
Billy's Wife
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan 2014


I am shocked about CVS!  I go there all the time but NO MORE!!  I agree with both who gave you advice to see a lawyer and go public.  I too think you should see a lawyer first and get his advice about going public because I also think it might be a good bargaining chip.  You don't want to be the 'story of the day' but get not personal results.

For four years during my husbands battle with RCC I was harassed by a NYC school principal. It started when his cancer metastasized and I was out six intermittant days to go to decision making meetings with him. Until the last year I only took my sick time to go with him, nothing excessive- I did not drive him to radiation, he drove himself! The harassment went on and on.  I wrote letters to the Dept. Of Ed. to no avail-- no one in authority cared!  Long story short I found a lawyer and filed suit in 2011.  Filing had little effict on this principal, who was and is a true Bully! In Sept. 2012 a little short of three months before my husband died she struck a final blow and I retired.  Under the circumstances I simply couldn't take it anymore. My friends and colleagues would tell me to go public but while I was still working I was afraid to be the story of the day and make it worse.  My lawyer said that public opinion could help the case--but we didn't go public.

This past November I settled the case after meeting with a very empathetic Magistrate Judge.  Alot of factors came into play for me. but your case sounds more open and shut.  I hope you get justice.  When we fight these battles we don't do it only for ourselves but for everyone who could be in our shoes especially our children. All my best wishes the most important thing is to be strong.  I learned that alot of people just let things go because it is so hard to fight.  Do whatever is right for you.  Good Luck! 

HarleyMom117's picture
Posts: 27
Joined: Oct 2013

Rebecca -- just WOW!   How naive I am, to think that sort of thing would never happen in the U.S.   Unbelievable.   I agree with the others who suggested you get an attorney as quickly as possible.   In cases like this, I'm sure you can find one who won't require payment until you settle or are awarded money by a court (and I'm quite sure you will be!)

Also -- I tried to find you on Facebook, but there are quite a few women with the same name.   It would probably be easier for you to find me (Terri Powell Wiersma).  Laughing

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 1016
Joined: Feb 2009

I am the HR department in our small business; under 25, so we do not have to comply with many of the state and federal laws.

Here are some things you have a right to obtain: copy of your application, copy of any evaluations, copy of any requests for leave or time off along with their OK. Technically, anything in your personnel file must be provide to you; but they may make you pay for copies, and can make you wait up to 30 days to get it done.  Make sure you have a copy of the written policies that they should have supplied you

Make sure you are within the time frame of hours/days worked required before any leave is granted.  How did CVS acquire the knowledge of your cancer?  Did someone wiolate a HIPPA regulation?

There is a lot of information you need to gather before you talk to someone about an illegal discharge.  Meanwhile, take care of your medical tests and find out what is wrong.  Then get well.


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