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I'm officially fired

Humble_PieHHumble_Pie Posts: 75
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Chronic Pain
Well, I knew it was coming. My company has a policy that states when FMLA is over, you are automatically terminated. I thought I was ready for it but it was a lot harder than I expected. I had spent 10 years with these people. These were people I trusted and thought would help me out. I found out in the business world that nobody is your friend. You will get hosed as soon as the opportunity presents itself. I write software and was one of the top programmers in the company. When I talked with my bosses, they were 100% positive. "We'll just let you work from home til you get over this". "We can't afford to lose you and we'll make sure things work". Next thing I know, I'm out on my can. They didn't remotely take a stand for me or my position.
I learned the hard way that I needed an attorney that understands disability law. Come to find out, all they were doing was stringing me along until time ran out for certain benefits and all I would get was "you needed to file for this x days or weeks ago and its too late now". I feel like such a sucker! I just thought I'd post this to let anyone who is considering disability to get an attorney and don't trust a single thing that HR or anyone in your company says. There is absolutely no loyalty in companies anymore. People mean nothing to big business and I learned that the hard way. I have an attorney now and should be able to pull things out but it still hurts a lot knowing these people whom you considered your friends fed you to the wolves the first chance they got.

I'm going to get my LTD and then I'm going to do everything possible to get reimbursed where I should. I spent over $2000 trying to accomodate my disability in the workplace. They wouldn't even purchase a chair for me. When I brought up the fact that the ADA requires them to make adequate accomodations within reason to help me. All I got was "I make the decisions here and there is no way in hell we're buying you anything". Thats pretty much the attitude I got everywhere when dealing with HR. After I get my COBRA and LTD secured, I'm going to go after them for disability accomodations. I wasn't going to do anything at first but I have been treated with such contempt and disdain that I now have decided that I need to stand up for myself and hopefully somebody else in my shoes.

Thanks for letting me vent. Its going to take a while to get over this. I feel extremely betrayed here.





  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I'm sorry this happened to you! You sound like a good employee.
    In big business there is no loyalty. And this is not the first time I've heard of this.
    If they can put another butt in that chair for cheaper..........Good bye!
    The almighty dollar! I hope you win your case!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I am so sorry to hear this happened to you, and yes it is very rough. Just so you know the the statue of limitations starting ticking the day the offense occurred. So many companies will announce layoffs months in advance and that is because the statue starts ticking then. While I don't know what the statue is for you, something you might want to check in right away. Also on your cobra insurance be sure to check with the local state department there is money out there part of the stimulus that will aide in paying for the insurance. You only have 30 days to file for cobra so be sure there is noway that time will elapse. If you don't see the packet within the next 7 days call the insurance company yourself. Don't wait on someone to do it or say it is taken care of.

    Anyway I am so sorry this happened to you and trust me I feel for you, been there done that and it was no fun at all. Take care and try and relax a little. I know much easier said than done.
  • Sorry to hear that, big buisness sucks at time, because its the micro-managers that don't even see you and know what you have done decide your fate. I just went back to work because I was close to running out of leave, but I didn't trust them honestly. Not the Mgrs the HR dept I didn't trust. :S

    Good Luck, hope you got a good Ambulance chaser, sue the heck out of them, its the only way buisneses learn. ;)
  • Thanks for the kind words. I'm definitely keeping on top of the COBRA and have an attorney sending in my paperwork for the LTD I've been paying for the last 10 years. I have also already started proceedings for SSD. I'm really hoping I can go back to work at some point but for now, I need to take advantage of what there is. I also just found out that I can take part in the subsidy the federal government is helping with on the COBRA so that will be nice. I think my health insurance will be cheaper now than it was when I was working.

    The hardest thing is dealing with my wife. She is one of those people that is anti-doctor, anti-medication, never been sick, never been hurt, and she is having a very hard time understanding what I'm going through. I've tried to explain things as well as I can but she can be pretty rough. I try to be understanding. Things are hard enough with my spine falling apart and losing my job. I don't need to be constantly heckled by the one who is supposed to be supporting me the most through all this. Anyone else been through this? Any advice? She has been out of the work force for about 13 years as a stay at home mom and is now going back to work. I don't think she's too happy about it but if I could do anything, I would gladly give up my back problems for about any job. This has been without a doubt the most horrible experience of my life. I sure hope things get better.

  • It is hard on both aspects when someone is in pain. If you have never been there kind of hard to understand it. You might want to check out some of the post in matters of the heart as there are many who deal with this same issue. Also here is a link to a letter that was posted by a member. It might be something you could give to your wife so she could better understand what you are going through. Hopefully it will open the lines of communications between the two of you.


    Hang in there things will work out.
  • I only bring this up when I feel it would be of some help ( hopefully ) to someone else.

    Yes, I understand about the spouse support issues.
    I was the work alcoholic in my marriage and went from 4:30 AM till 8 or 9 PM 6 to 7 days a week working. When I got hurt, hubby had to take over most of those hrs. We own a small cleaning biz and I could not work it any more. He was very very resentful towards me :( I cut the biz contracts wayyyyyy back so he would only have to work normal hrs. It did not help his attitude.

    Now here we are about 5 yrs later and he is finally coming around some. He is not angry at/with me any more and we get along better. However it was a very long road getting here and is still far from perfect! He still has what I call JackA*s days ;)

    I went through a large range of emotions during all of this - from wanting a divorce as I felt so unsupported, to wondering how I would get by if I got a divorce and feeling like crap for thinking that way. To being really angry at him for his own feelings/actions. To being very depressed.

    FINALLY I recovered enough of my own self esteem to accept this was a terrible thing that happened to me, and yes it effected both of us BUT I was the one in pain. I took some classes online and now am on my way to supporting myself financially IF we don't make it through this.
    For the most part when he reacts negatively towards me any more, I am able to not let it bother me - much

    I know I did not offer any answers here for you. I wanted to share so you do know you are not alone.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Everything helps. I wouldn't be on here if I didn't know that I would receive good advice and information from people who have been through the same things I am going through now. I hope things work out on my end. My wife means everything to me. It doesn't help much when her 75 year old father is still out working almost everybody on their farm. I seem to get compared a lot although it is nothing alike.

    I thank all of you for your support and help. For many of us, there is nowhere else to go but here. Its amazing how many people just don't understand the concept of chronic pain or they try to compare it to the broken arm or sprained ankle they had once. The difference being their pain went away. I have had many broken bones and some were very severe. I would trade them in a second for the chronic constant pain I feel now. Its just horrible and I wish there was a good way to explain to people what its really like.

    Anyway, thanks to all. I hope everyone understands the good they are doing by understanding and helping out the people on this forum.
  • It does stink when you have no support system. My husband thinks just because I sit at a desk all day, what's the problem??? He doesn't realize that it hurts no matter what and it is a struggle to get in there by 630 every morning. It's no big deal to him. I did enjoy when he experienced a little nerve pain last week however, he was whining like a baby and I said, well get over it. You ain't working anyway (because he's a contractor and there is no construction in Utah anymore) and he just looked at me. I guess I'm a "B" because I am the most sympathetic, take care of you kind of a person, but I'm so sick of his tude about my pain - he can figure it out himself. I'm not lifting a finger. Ya, I know, great relationship... Oh well...
  • that you lost your job. I hope your attorney can get your LTD going. Best wishes. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm sorry to hear what happened and yet not surprised. I do remember your story about not being able to get a suitable office chair. That alone makes me sick. I'm able to get a suitable chair, headset, standing workstation, and...my medical contacts have told my manager he needs to allow me to work remote as I transion. Of course they are protecting themselves (I call it CYA).

    They will not hesitate to fire me if I ran out of FMLA despite the fact that they owe me vacation time, holiday time, my weekends and everything else I've done for them. It's sad but I worked for a company about 7 years ago that was about the employee. It's tough to find that these days.

    I wish you the best with your legal proceedings as I believe some companies these days really abuse their employees by expecting them (especially in IT) to be flexible to be on-call 24X7 and then aren't flexible when you need them to be in your situation.

    It's sad.

    We are here for you! You will pull through this.
  • also, don't forget to discuss collecting unemployment that is rightfully yours. You paid into the system.
  • You know, I never really thought about that. Am I entitled to unemployment while I wait for my LTD to kick in? I guess it would make sense since I was let go. If I looked at that, would it have an impact on my LTD? I'll have to talk with my attorney a bit and see.

    The latest thing that has everyone on edge is the fact that I understand these LTD companies hire people to do nothing but follow you around 24 x 7 taking pictures, video, audio, and anything else they can do to try and disprove your disability. What do you do about this? Just because I can't lift 20 lbs or sit for long periods of time, that doesn't mean I need to stop living my life altogether. I was hoping I can sit out and plant a few vegetables in a small garden, take care of it, and water it. I'm certainly not gonna be doing any rototilling or digging but I would assume you could do this within reason. I also have ducks, geese, chickens, and other birds to care for. I really enjoy when they come running as I spread out their feed. I don't carry enough to hurt myself yet I'm afraid now that if I get caught doing this, even if it is within reason, I'm giong to be battling in court the rest of my days. Exercise in small amounts is a very helpful, yet I'm afraid that I'm dead meat if I do anything. What about going to my Dr. appts? I have to sit for a while and it does cause me a lot of pain yet some of these things are needed just to survive. Am I going to be fighting for my livlihood because I need to sit for an hour to get to my doc? What about a soccer game? I would endure great amounts of pain to see my kids play. Sure I pay for it for a few days but I wouldn't give it up for the world.

    How have the rest of you handled this part of the equation? I hope that some day I may be able to get off disability and rejoin the workforce but if I can't do anything without being heckled and hauled into court for everything, there's no way I would ever be able to get my body back into working shape.

    The more I think the more I see what huge change this is going to be in my and my family's lives. I also see what a change this has been to many other peoples lives and applaud all those who have made it through!
  • I am so sorry to hear what you have been through. I went through much of the same with my former employer and know exactly how betrayed you feel.

    However, you will not qualify for unemployment. You must be able to work and available for work in order to qualify for benefits.

    Hang in there and hopefully it will get better for you.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • I'm so sorry to hear about your situation, especially as you are a highly skilled employee who devoted his all to the company only to get screwed.
    I had a few questions, the answers to which might help me and others like you in similar situations.
    -without revealing specifics about your company etc., what were some of those deadlines that your company said you missed? I.e. were they specific to your company or statutory? (I ask only because I hope I haven't missed any such deadlines. I've been out for nearly two years on short-term, now long-term disability sponsored by my employer).
    -My first reaction, and one that undoubtedly you encounter all the time, is: how can they legally fire someone who is disabled? (I realize this depends on your work requirements and on whether you meet certain criteria for disability). Doesn't the ADA require that your employer make reasonable efforts to accommodate your disability or find other work for you that is more suited to you?
    -When you say LTD, I assume you are talking about private long term disability insurance offered through your employer. Or is it something you had separately from your employer? I've been on long term disability for quite a while but I'd be shocked to discover that anyone is following me around with a video camera when I load the groceries into the car.
    -My wife doesn't understand or want to understand, either. Nor do my parents. Or my in-laws. It seems that unless you are bleeding profusely, disfigured or in a wheelchair, you can't possibly be disabled. We live in a heartless world indeed.
    Sorry for the long note. I hope you don't find it too intrusive. It's just that I'm facing some of the same challenges.
    Best of luck on your legal case. Go get 'em.
  • When I read your post my heart went out to you. I have been through pretty much the same thing. A few differences. I was with my employer as VP for 29yrs 11 mos. and 26 days. I had undergone a cervical fusion and the injury was work related. I hit the front of my head, flew back hit the back of my head fell to a cement floor and was knocked out. (this was all on videotape) I let the CEO know as soon as she came in and she said nothing. I told her I was in alot of pain and felt very sick to my stomach. To make a long story short she did not file the proper paperwork for Workmans Comp. I was allowed to go home 7.5 hrs later and drive myself. Quite honestly I had no clue how bad I was hurt. Since my husband is disabled with a very bad heart condition I knew I had to work for insurance purposes. I continued to work taking off so much time which I had to make up or use vacation or dr's notes. It got to the point where after many therapys, mris, emgs you name it surgery was the final step. I made sure with the CEO I would have enough time to recouperate, so I thought. After I returned early as I was told my benefits would be cut off, the dr's were furious as I was in no way ready to return. My employer would not accomodate me at all. I worked upstairs. It was just a short time later my dr's put me off permanently. My lumbar spine was messed up and my cervical fusion was not healing properly. I could barely walk, could not talk as my right vocal cord was paralysed during the surgery. I was an emotional wreck. How could I leave a company I was so loyal to. I tried to ask for medical benefits since I had been there just shy of 30 yrs and was denied. I did get an attorney and filed for workmans comp. I had worked with these people for 30 years and thought many were my good friends. Boy do you find out quick you have no friends when you are injured. I was lucky to have received my Soc Sec dis. benefits in exactly 8 weeks and receive LTD but have to pay for my own insurance. After two years the workmans com suit is still going on. We lost our home and I was so low emotionally. The whole work thing broke my heart and I just couldn't believe how I was and am being treated. I can totally sympathize with you as it is an awful thing to go through. You feel so alone but being able to find this site and vent, cry, whatever you need to do someone is always here for us.
    My CEO has been so awful. The newest issue is since I am receiving LTD through employer the place I worked is responsible for sending me my W-2 which I received April 3rd. I can barely function, how am I going to get taxes filed in time.
    HumblePie I just want to tell you my dr's have all told me to have a positive outlook. Hard to do when you are in pain 24/7 but I am trying to get over the past and move forward. I realized I was loyal to my company but in return I got nothing but heartache from them. I was also scared of the LTD company watching my every move but since I could barely move I guess those fears are unfounded. But they do watch so if you are able to do everyday things be careful not to overdo it.
    They say time heals all wounds and I imagine that is true but it takes alot of inner strength to get over the hurt these people who praised my work and acted as though I was a part of the so called family. Sorry my post is so long, I just wanted you to know you are not alone and I feel your hurt and anger. Feel free to PM me anytime.
    Good luck in all your endeavors.
  • I am sorry to hear this. It is horrible.

    And I totally hear you on the not understanding. My husband is extremely anti-doctor and anti-medication. he is always nagging at me about going to the doctor and taking medication. It really drives me crazy sometimes. I can kind of see why he is this way, he was epileptic, and was constatly hurting himself when he was little. With having been epileptic, he was in the hospital all of the time, and was on a ton of medication, got blood drawn a few times a week, test all of the time, but now he is fine and has no health issues. But my point to him is that we are two different people and no one reacts the same to pain. It is frustrating at times to deal with the comments/opinions. Not to mention when he is sick, the world ends and the sky falls :) Heck when he had his vasectomy, I know I know TMI lol, he was on the couch for days, you would have thought the man had open-heart surgery!!!

    Anyway, best of luck to you and I will keep you in my thoughts.
  • I guess I should have known that about unemployment BUT I would still check with your Lawyer b/c if you are fighting the approach they took, you may have a a case with them.

    They will ask you why you were fired/let go. You tell them you had a back issue and the chair was not suitable to your needs. You then tell them that you raised the concern to HR and 'here's what they said'. You tell them you tried very hard to be able to come into work by requesting a standing workstation or ergonomic assessment/chair. If HR did NOTHING, I would say the odds are in your favor of unemployment paying you.

    note: the reason I say this is because my sister left a job that was not as it was 'posted' when she applied. She spoke to HR about it and they said "oh, well". Guess what? she qualified b/c she could prove that she got a bait and switch AND tried to work it out with the company.

  • I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who have posted here and offered help as well as share your own fears and experiences. This has been the most miserable thing I have ever gone through and that doesn't innclude the physical pain. I could have never imagined what physical pain can do to a person both emotionally and spiritually. You definitely learn very quickly who your real friends are as well. I don't think I have ever felt helpless in my entire life yet I am completely helpless at this point. I have to hope things will go through with my new income, with my body healing or not, with my family and their new responsibilities, etc. I'm just glad there is somewhere we can go to get support (Here!). As soon as I quit feeling sorry for myself and figure out how to deal with this, I promise to do all I can to help others in similar situations. lol.
    Well, my wife started her new job tonight. Wish me luck. I need to do what I can to get moving and get the kids to school and do what I can to carry as much of the load as I can. I always told her that I thought she did more than I did and now I am really struggling to figure out how I can be somewhat helpful and not be just an additional burden. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with all this but its all quite overwhelming. There's a lot of times I just want to quit but I just keep hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For all of you in a similar situation, you have my sympathy and definitely my prayers.
  • HP,
    I too lost my job many years ago as the rhetoric of support never matched my reality of need and although my employer espoused an empathetic language, out of the door I went anyway. The key is that this is not your fault and probably as me, you had worked well beyond your daily capability and the effort to provide parity on a level platform with other workers was never going to materialise.

    It is comforting to know that you are supportive of that additional responsibility for another, this is a team game and my wife always tell me when I need to shape up and more recently rest, I do feel somewhat guilty for those things I cannot physically do where the onus of responsibility is placed disproportionately on one individual. I make recompense in doing what I can and trying every day to see what assistance is required.

    I have survived and so will you, in dealing with pain everyday you already have the capacity to endure all that is before you, I subsequently went on to enhance myself and increase that opportunity for future employment when my time arose again, in that respect my life was in two sections. I never lost that drive to return to employment and it took a long time, new doors did open disassociated with my past life and skills, I have adapted well to the new roles and responsibility, having confidence in my ability to adapt where necessary from this imposed challenging circumstance.

  • Until you are fired you cannot understand the deep hurt that comes with it. You gave your all and they kicked you out. Nothing hurts more than rejection.

    But now you need to look at why you feel this way. These people were not married to you, they aren't your kids or your parents. They are just other people who you spent part of every day with trying to make a living so you could live the rest of your life - the really important part of your life.

    So hard as it may be you need to look at the good in your situation. Now you have time to spend with those kids. No insurance investigator can fault you for sitting at a soccer game - just don't carry the chairs and the cooler! No one will fault you for planting one tomatoe - just don't take out the lawn mower and rototiller. Take a walk with your wife - it's doctors orders to walk.

    For the past 17 years I have lived through my husbands injuries and layoffs and now more recently my injuries. It takes a while but then you realize that you need to live NOW not after you pay off the house or buy that new car. Before you know it your kids grow up and you get old and sick. Lots of rich people in retirement homes.

    So consider this a blessing in disguise and make the most of every minute!! Take some time in between the pain to stop and smell those roses. Walk those kids to school and go to all those silly concerts. Make your wife breakfast when she wakes up today and ask how her first night went.

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