A woman has been employed by a small company in the south (less than fifty employees) for about eighteen months. She has health insurance benefits, a good paycheck and enjoys working there. As a matter of fact, not long ago she was given an award for Best Employee. It's a damn pretty damn good place to work.
Or so she thought.
A few weeks ago, she walked into her employer's office and requested time off (without pay) because she has a very large and dangerous tumor that must be removed. The surgeon will have to cut her open from her breastbone to her pelvic bone, that's how large that tumor is. It's a very serious and dangerous surgery and will take six weeks recovery time.
Last night, just four weeks before the scheduled surgery, she was called into her employer's office and told she was fired. The reason? "We can't afford to leave your position open for six weeks." There was no talk of working from home, hiring a temp, or any other options.
Now she's four weeks from life-saving surgery and has no job, no income, no insurance. And that means no surgery.
Without the surgery, the woman will eventually die.
Because of its small size, the company is not subject to FMLA laws and was within its legal rights to fire her. So while the firing was not illegal l it was...a pretty shitty thing to do. She would not have been paid for the six weeks recovery time so the company would've been saved her full-time salary right there. They could've hired a temporary person to do her job and paid that person half the cost! So they fired her because they couldn't afford for her to be gone six weeks but now they are going to have to replace her anyway. How does that make any sense? They might as well just kept her on and told her she couldn't have the time off. Either way, the end result is the same.
She may die.
But hey, at least management will sleep better at night knowing that they saved the company a few lousy $$, right?
Some of you might be sitting there saying, "It's a private company, they can do what they want" and you would be right in your assessment. But seriously, this was a a pretty rotten thing to do. It's just wrong. Since when does profit come before people? When we put profit first, we better ask ourselves what the hell we've become. A good company with good management would've sat down and tried working out the alternatives so that this employee could take her six weeks off without pay and recover and the company would've had someone working in her place. It's not impossible, this could've been done.
I made a promise to the person who told me this story that upon her
request, if things did not reverse and if the woman did not get her job
back, I was going to go public with the name and location of this
company. And you better believe that's exactly what I'm going to do if it comes down to it.