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Cancer and job

Optimisticgirl's picture
Posts: 82
Joined: Aug 2017

My husband had a nephrectomy on Sept. 6, and found out today via phone call by the business owner his services will no longer be required. They are extremely busy and need people that can work...now. Desk job, no union, I know there are probably laws against this but who really wants to go there now and where would it get you anyway? Anyone else ever had this happen?  Trying to make sense of the whole thing, ever optimistic, I assume this will turn into an opportunity we don't yet understand.

BoondockSaint's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Mar 2017

Thats just the lowest of the low in my opinion. Sure they need help now but still, to kick a man when he's down?? I better stop before I say somethingthat gets me banned.

My employer was not only understanding of my wifes situation they went a step above. I put in for vacation the days of her surgery and subsequent recovery. When I got back the owner told me to change it to sick / personal time so I didnt have to burn the vacay.

Wishing you all the best.

todd121's picture
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

Did your husband apply for an FMLA leave? It may not be too late to do it retroactively. I don't know. I'm pretty sure this is illegal. I think it's worth looking into. For sure he's entitled to protections under the ADA. I'm no expert, but I remember being told that cancer is covered under the ADA.

It might be worth a free one hour visit with an employment discrimination attorney or contacting your state labor board.

This isn't right. People are sometimes just ignorant of the law. If we don't speak up, they go on their merry way trampling on people's rights. I know it's unpleasant, but still I'd at least look into it.


APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

That's unconscionable. I'm so sorry. Todd is right; look into FMLA. I was on it and it was a big help. Does the company he works for have over 50 employees? If yes, they have to honor FMLA. Please check into it.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3354
Joined: Jan 2010

Fight back




stub1969's picture
Posts: 923
Joined: Jul 2016

I'd be pretty agressive checking into this.  There has to be something you can do about this.   Good luck



Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2017

I'm returning to work on Monday after radical left kidney nephrectomy on 8/22  which kept me hospitalized for an additional 2 nights. followed by a pulmonary embolism a week after being home which hospitalized me another week. THEN i was anemic...seems I have been through quite a bit. Originally I was going to be off 2 wks (per surgeon) I wasn't ready to return so he extended that 2 more weeks-then the other things happened and I've been home 6 wks. I work in a small private practice (dentistry-I'm a dental hygienist)and I have a new boss who has been so wonderful and supportI've! I'm so gratefu. My doc didn't want me to return yet and so we negotiated a gradual return...week 1 3 hrs/day, week 2 4 hrs/day...with strict instructions for me to come home and REST/nap.(currently I feel I need naps 2xday) 

im excited to get back to "normal living" and to earn a paycheck (no short term disability, long term doesn't kick in for 90 days and vacation was already used this summer) but I'm nervous that I may be too exhausted to do it! My mind and my wallet say go to work but if I was getting paid I'd stay home longer...but how long??? I understand I may be tired for 6 months or more and i definitely couldn't stay home that long.

Any advise on transitionomg back to work? no one else understands 

APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

Warrior, yeah, your job is pretty intesive, requiring you to be on your feet. It's different with a desk job wjhere you can sit. So it's probably going to be tiring for you at first. Maybe you could ask your boss whether you could do desk/paper work the first week or so if you get tired standing.

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

But shortly afterward, my prognosis tanked. So all I wanted was to retire to enjoy the time I had left. Enjoy it I have. But not all the time. I think it is funny that my life expectancy has been at several months, give or take a little, several times. So now when referring to my prognosis, I have adopted the term "Seasonal."

Everyones reason to work or not varies. I couldn't do my job anymore. I hate having to spend our life savings just to die and leave my wife broke. Finances, age, and insurance have to screw things up.

hardo718's picture
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

Unlated to my cancer diagnosis, years ago I had been doing desk work (before I got into the medical field) and was fired from a job when I was sicker than a dog.  They knew I was too, because when I was at work I came down with this horrible chest cold, high fever that almost killed me.  Ironically enough, my mother came down with it the very same day while babysitting my kids and she ended up in ICU with pneumonia.  After dealing with her respiratory therapists for weeks, that's how I ended up doing the same.  But I digress.  I collected unemployment, although the employer fought it.  It went into arbitration and the unemployment office asked her if she fired me while I was sick and she said yes.  The arbitrator thanked her for her time and turned to me & said she can't do that.  Signed my paperwork & I was out the door.  Fight, fight, fight!!


Optimisticgirl's picture
Posts: 82
Joined: Aug 2017

all for input. They are now allowing him unemployment and will pay for 1 year of healthcare premiums.  They realize what they have done is not on the up and up. We have friends say get a lawyer and fight, but what is the use when they could fire him after returning to work anyway, with potentially not even the healthcare benefit they are willing to pay for now. My husbands Dr's told him this happens more than anyone realizes. One physician has worked all over Europe and said it is not an issue there, since healthcare is not for profit and will not effect a businesses bottom line, like it does here. Thank you all for your support!

ImNotDeadYet's picture
Posts: 244
Joined: Apr 2017

I know it's not what you're looking to get into right now - believe me, I know. But if you are looking at what could be expensive legal action, I may know an option. I recently signed up for a legal service where I pay a small monthly fee and can get, among other things, free consultations about things like this. Private message me if you're interseted, and I can get you more info.



kiwi68's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2017

that you have additional stress. I would like to add my 2  cents worth.   Before getting all riled up to fight, first  thing to do is camly and thoroughly find out your rights and then 'without prejudice' (looke that legal term up) advise the employer of your rights and likely action you could take. Often this is enough to get someone to fulfil their obligations,  Your husband may or may not want or need to return to that employer.   You may want to ensure that he gets a good reference from them as well and ensure that future references would be good.     Good Luck, 

Also, you may find that post nephrectomy health is better than expected and in a few months time it won't be an issue and employment will continue as normal. 


Posts: 16
Joined: Nov 2017

Please contact FMLA.  The purpose of FMLA is to protect employees against heartless employers as your husbands. I'm not sure if you will be able to open your husbands case retroactive to September, but its worth a try. FMLA requires employers to allow employees unpaid leaves of abscence for personal health issues or the care of a family member (I think there is a time limit of up to 1year, but not sure). FMLA is a program which was implemented by the Clinton Administration, to protect employees with personal or family crisis. Once your case is approved by FMLA, your husbands employer is mandated to keep your husbands job open or relocate him to a comparable position upon his return..only down side is that its not a paid leave. Your husband can also apply for SDI (State Disability Insurance) and they will pay up to 55% of his salary. I just applied for FMLA & my contacts number is 877-G02-FMLA. Hope this helps


Hd67xlch's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: Apr 2016

Is only good for 90 days a year, and all it does is protect your health insurance through your job from being cancelled, you still have to pay whatever your normal monthly rate is. Ive used it twice, 2 weeks each time after each rcc  lung met surgery I had. It will automatically make you use up any sick or vacation time you have while using it, it will also require several forms from drs, and it has nothing to do with the govt, other than its a law for companies that have more 50 employees. If a company has less than 50 its not required, this may all be different in other states, good luck.

Posts: 52
Joined: Nov 2017

my employer pays my full salary while I am out

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