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work problems

Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

There is not much I can do about this to really change my situation.  At least not as soon as I would want to. There is something I just wanted to get out there, So as most of you know, when I was going through chemo treatments last Augast I took 3 months off work and  then went back to work.  I wasnt in the best spot to start work again and it was chalenging especially at first.  I was only working 4 hours but needed to take 1 hour breaks the first week about and then slowly tapered off.  My job was a stand up job and although it could have been more work, it wasnt easy either. I am a cook for the school district. 

My boss at the time was very supportive.  She was very woried about me and I could tell.  I wanted every thing to be back to normal again and when I would be struggling  she would tell me to go sit down.  As time passed i remember taking a work picture with all my co workers and she asked me to kneel on the floor for the picture.  It was the first time at work (I think) that I had to get down like that and It was a little chalenging to get back up because of my joint pain in my legs. She was sorry that she had me kneel on the floor. 

The last month of the school year, A girl quit and just before she quit It started getting busy for me and my co worker because this girl was slowing down and wasnt doing her job very well and on top of that the forth co worker was having some health problems and she was slowing down too.  The work load was on the other two of us.  The girl that was quiting worked 5 1/2 hours so to help around work I asked my boss for her extra hours.  I ended up working some of her hours.  I worked an extra hour every day in May.  I was happy to get the extra hour because I wanted to see if I could do it because I knew that in the summer I might be working more hours and I wanted to know if I could do it.  Plus when I went up to my boss that day to ask her if I could have this co workers hours she asked if i was talking about next year too.  I told her when she asked about next year that maybe I would take those too  (She didnt know it, but I was looking into a full time job with insurance at the time) thats why I said maybe.  Anyways she told me that we will do it this month and see how it goes and then decide about next years hours (She was worried about my health and ability to do those hours).  There was a time I couldnt do those hours but felt at the time I could.  One day after that conversation with her, she came up to me and told me I would be going back to my four hour shift next year.  I was mad that she wasnt going to give me that chance to prove myself like she said I would beable too.  So the next day I said to her that I had been thinking and would like to have the chance for those extra hours next year and she said we will need to talk about that next year. I was upset but just kept going forward.  I couldnt figure out why she changed her mind so quickly.

So this summer I had been think about what i was going to do.  As I have mentioned before, I am loosing my insurance this december and felt I needed to know if I was getting those extra hours or not to possible be able tp afford a different insurance.  I had been working a full time Teperary job this summer and I could do the job but because I am a single mother, I felt that the work load was too much to do both things.  I desided to go in to see the hiring manager last week to ask him about any 5 and 1/2 hours shifts at any school in the district.  He didnt know at the time but called me back two days later and told me this.  He told me that he had talked to my boss and she told him that she felt that I was kind of slow.  so I guess they desided together to give me a chance on a trial basis.  So for a month starting in Augast they said I could work for a month with those hours and then they will decide if I get too keep the hours.  It wasnt what I was expecting but it sure explains why my boss changed her mind.  Im thinking she thought I was slow even before I took the 5 and 1/2 hours shft last may.  I didnt feel I was any slower thany any one else.  In fact as I has mentioned the co worker that quit(she was moving) slowed down consireably her last month of work.

Im sorry this is so long but I was wondering what everyone thought of this.  Is there any discrimination in this?  I researched it a little but would like to know what you think







derMaus's picture
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016


It certainly sounds as though you have legitimate questions about possible discrimination, and I'd urge you to contact your state's fair employment and housing entity for more information. Here's a link to the federal EEOC website that will help locate your state agency, if you don't already have it: https://www.eeoc.gov. You don't mention if you asked for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) protection when you were in treatment, which could have an impact as well. As I understand it you're still being treated as 'handicapped' even though you're back to your normal endurance level. It's odd that, if your employer thinks you're slow, they haven't simply asked you to speed up a little - that would be a normal request in my field of work, where I ask people to hurry up or slow down all the time. It's just part of adjusting to the workflow on any given day. If you feel you haven't been given guidance or feedback about your performance but instead assumptions are being made about your ability based on your previous treatment, you may well have cause to explore possible discrimination. Or at least that's my opinion, but I'm in California and we have excellent employment laws... 

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1374
Joined: Sep 2010

I am sorry you are having problems at work.  I hope you can resolve it.  

I was severely discriminated against 5 years after my diagnosis, at the job I had during my illness.  I was working full time again and I thought everything was normal.  Then my 3 co-workers started harassing and bullying me.  One even said he thought that the chemotherapy affected my brain, which it had not.  The environment became worse and worse and more stressful over the ensuring 9 months.  I was discriminated against for a work-related injury that happened before my illness.  It was so overt and stressful, yet I could not get any support from human resources.  

Long story short, the situation deteriorated to the point that I started having panic attacks.  I had planned to work this job for 7 more years and retire at my full pension.  But I knew that if I stayed in this situation, I would get sick again.  So, I found another job.  I contacted numerous attorneys and to establish discrimination requires pretty overt evidence.  None of the attorneys were even mildly interested in my case and I filed with the feds and got no support.  In hindsight, it became clear that the co-worker who started the movement against me wanted a promotion for which I was more qualified.  He got what he wanted.  I quit and he got the job.  Just know that you can drive yourself crazy trying to present and defend your position and you need some very damning evidence to prove discrimination.  If you like this job and want to keep it, it may not be in your best interests to try to push a discrimination case against your employer.

Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

Tethys41, Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.  It helps me not to feel alone. I have been thinking about this situation for the last couple of days and reading your post helped me to know what to do.

Kvdyson's picture
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Janaes, I'm sorry to hear that things are so rough at work for you. Can you find out what metrics your manager is using to determine "fast" vs. "slow" work? Maybe if they explained how it is they measure that type of thing, you could have a better chance of living up to their expectations? It's not very fair if you are being compared against something that you didn't even know existed.

Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

Thanks for your comment kim.  I sure wish I wasnt dealing with this problem.  20 years ago when I had cancer I didnt get faced with a situation like this one from my employer at all.  When I was time to work more hours I just got them.  It was not a consistant sceduale but i remember with time they just let me work more.  No tial basis or anything like that. No questions about if I could do it or not.  They trusted me.  I think I will probably work with my boss on this because I do want the job and the chance.  I work only 5 or so miles from home and I really like that and I still get off when my kids get off which is good for when they come home from school.  I guess the hard part is is that I dont start for a month so I have all this time to think and wonder the worse senereo.  Not good to do.  Doesnt get me anywhere. 

Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

In my working lifetime, I found that the later years were much more demanding, and my husband found the same at his work.  It just seems like bosses have been getting more and more pressure from their bosses to produce results, so that pressure to produce more has funneled down to the lower level employees.  Unfortunately, with the tight economy in many areas, this desire of the higher bosses for increased productivity has also come with less compensation for those doing the grunt work, making for greater and greater stress in the work force.  The people who never produced much to begin with have no incentive to produce more, so the lower level bosses go after those they think might accomplish their lofty goals, putting increased pressure on them.  Oh, for a return to the economy of fifty years ago when things were much simpler!   

Posts: 1568
Joined: Jun 2012

i am so glad I'm retired. 

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