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Things can and do always get worse...

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 01/07/2013 - 12:25 PM in Chronic Pain
I got fired today. Ain't life grand? Here I sit recovering from major surgery and get a call from my employer telling me that a mistake I made before I went out on FMLA (some personal mail fell in my trunk when I went to deliver it and wasn't found for a week, not business mail mind you, but personal employee mail). Although it all worked out for those peeps, I apparently did not and am now out on my ass.

I can't get rid of this friggin' nerve pain in my left leg so going to try a Medrol pack. Then I get kicked in my very sore back by my employer.

Man, sometimes we just can't catch a break!

They decided to "let me go" and gave me a severence package - do you think I could get unemployment?


Cathie the broken

PS I posted here because my life has become a Chronic Pain.


  • RTgirl2011RRTgirl2011 Posts: 512
    edited 01/07/2013 - 12:50 PM
    I was fired right after my staph infection washout surgery. They called me while in was still in hospital and fired me caused my illness kept me from coming back to work when they wanted. I worked at a hospital, so you would think they would understand. I just had a fusion then 2 weeks later I had the washout surgery. How could they expect me to be able to come back real quick after all that. Needless to say I had another fusion a couple months later and now I am on disability. I don't know if you can get unemployment with severance package. I would try it and see. The most they can do is say no.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • When it rains it pours sometimes. I can't believe they did that to you. I would think they'd be more understanding. Personally, I think they were trying to find a reason to get rid of me anyway, so it would've been now or later. I'm hoping to find a job working from home. I don't think financially I could wait out disability.

    I know you can get unemployment with a severance package, but can you if you've been fired? That's what I'm not sure about. I'll try and see, all they can say is no, like you said.

    Called you in the hospital...Lord Almighty, some people have no heart at all!
  • ...I've never been fired in my life. I've been laid off due to downsizing, but never fired in 40 years.
  • Have you seen or signed the severance agreement? Often in that is an agreement that you will not sue your employer. They may be trying to get you to go away quietly. I would say you should consult an employment attorney right away. Had you had any verbal or written warnings prior to your going on leave? Does your leave document say anything about disciplining/firing/giving severance to someone already on leave? If you are considering the severance, you could negotiate that they would indicate you failed to return from medical leave vs. being "fired".

    PM me if you want to discuss.

    Take care,
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Sounds as they was just looking for a reason to fire ya, while out on fmla call a lawyer ! Wronful termination !
    Dont sighn anything , They might be taking advatage of the situation while you just came out of surgery and fmla you might have some protection ,

    Tell them stick there package where the sun dont shine and find a good lawyer !

    What ever they claim you did dont admit to anything you have the right to remain silent. Anything they put in writing can be held against them in court of law. Lol. Ok maybe i been watching too much law and order !

    Fight back is what i say !
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • lstellerllsteller Posts: 1,428
    edited 01/07/2013 - 5:02 PM
    You can get unemployment if you get fired. You can't get it if you quit.
    I'm so sorry to hear this happened. I sucks that too many employers kick their loyal employees when they are already down.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • backbback Posts: 190
    edited 01/08/2013 - 1:41 AM
    If you're fired for cause, that can throw a wrench into the works. Try and get the most out of them that you can without burning bridges.

  • Oh Cathie, Im so sorry. It sucks to be terminated while still recuperating from spine surgery. I know because it happened to me to. I worked for a small doctors office with under 50 employees so we didn't even have FMLA. I was allowed 6 weeks of leave and the day that my leave was up they put my termination papers in the mail. I still cannot work and am having knee surgery on Jan. 18 and possible lumbar fusion this summer. I had never been fired from a job either, never even been written up :( I signed up for disability in Oct. but haven't heard anything so far:(

    I think it is great to start a business you can do from home Hopefully you will still have insurance.

  • same thing happen to me .i was forced out of work .but after a lot of mucking around i went on full time disability .i am not that much worse off financially now taking travel/parking /clothing lunch etc in to consideration ..its juts the loneliness that's the killer and missing the work place environment
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Sometimes you just can't catch a break no matter what! :sad: I am so sorry to hear this.

    I would also be curious about what a lawyer would have to say about this; they can probably even argue that the mistake you (allegedly) made was due to your pain levels....you never know.

    Take care and keep your chin up; "The world is round, and sometimes the place that seems like the end can also be the beginning." Good luck!

  • For the record, you can get unemployment if you quit, you just have to have a real good reason. As for unemployment for being fired, yes you can get it then too, but you have to keep up on it. Make sure you file ASAP, and when/if they deny you, appeal it right away, make sure you keep turning in in any and all required paperwork regardless if your still under appeal. If you get denied, appeal again, the key is to keep appealing, eventually it will go to a hearing, appeal that if you need to, eventually the company will figure out that its costing them more money to fight it then to just let it go. Worked for me. Plus, i also was unjustly terminated, so whatever you do, fight it. Maybe even get that lawyer or the disability services involved for discrimination against a person with disabilities. Make them miserable.

    On another note, I am so sorry this happened, try to keep your chin up.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    about this Cathie. I am sure you dont need anything to cause some stress.
    Lets just hope that something else comes your way that will make things a light brighter
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • they did that to you. Talk about dirty, rotten scoundrels! Sending you good, good wishes!
    Herniated disc C5 C-6, DDD, Fibromyalgia, Nerve damage both arms, Disc Decompression, SCS 2010, Si joint pain, many epidurals, mri's, trigger point injections. Nerve conduction tests, RFA 11/28/12, RLS
  • I'm going to apply for unemployment this week (I'm terminated as of today) and will talk with someone at the disability office about the situation - FMLA, no written notices, etc. Hopefully that will work and get us by.

    This company has been on shaky ground since our new CEO came and everyone is very scared for their jobs. They did a massive layoff last year, peeps that had been there for many, many years and some not so long, so peeps are nervous anyway. Now, nobody's giving details as to why I'm not coming back and because I did good work and was liked, I'm sure things are not pleasant at my previous job. That's one solice. I did tell HR that I thought it was very cold-hearted to do this to me while I'm fighting recovery from major surgery and the simply said, "Ok."

    I have the belief in a higher power and that things are meant to happen for a reason, so I'll work on the unemployment and then scout around. The severance gives me a little time, most of which is recovery time, but what else can I do? Thanks Paininohio and TracyLynne, along with all the others.

    I also believe they were looking for a reason to get me out of there for financial purposes. I also think they're going to get rid of more. They keep telling everyone they're safe, but, well, now we know and so do they. Too bad - they used to be a very good company. Now they suck.

    Thanks again for your thoughts and advice. Karen, I would like to PM with you. I'll do it tomorrow unless you feel like PMing me before then.

    BTW, does anyone know what happens if I keep paying for my LTD now? I could use a lawyer, I think, but don't know if I can afford one.

  • I am so sorry to hear that.
    I agree to check out exactly where you stand, and if they can do this to you while you are off on sick leave.

    I had trouble at my place of work after my lumbar fusion and had to have a meeting with a union rep to represent me. That helped get me into a more secure position. However I am still worried about when I return to work after this ACDF surgery. I am worried that I will have to fight for my rights again.

    You never know, this may lead to a new venture that will turn out great. :-)
  • Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
    edited 01/12/2013 - 7:50 AM
    I'm pretty sure they're going to say that they "let me go" for something that happened before I went out on FMLA. So that would negate that. Right now I'm wondering about the LTD that I had through them and should be able to continue. Will that get me by along with the severance? I'm going to just sign the severance agreement because like I said, the "incident" happened before I went out on FMLA and wasn't discovered until I was on FMLA. I've been reading that that could be a deal-breaker. We really need the money now, I just have to decide if I want to work on disability or try to unemployment (something tells me they won't fight it) and look for another job.

    I don't know. I just don't know. But for right now, I have to continue working on healing. The medrol pack helped a little, but I still have nerve pain in my left leg, not near as bad as before, but it comes and goes but is never completely gone. I'm worried theyll have to go back in and release a nerve problem.

    Oh, my. This wacky world we live in.
  • alexhurtingaalexhurting Posts: 1,991
    edited 01/12/2013 - 10:21 AM
    Dont let them fire you damn it ! I dont care what you did just before the fmla. As i said deny anything and everything !
    My worry would be now finding a new job with such surgery and spine issues as who will want to hire you ?

    Ask a lawyer as it might be wronful termination , See what your legal rights are , ask lawyer before sighning anything,

    Lawyer will tell you if best to go ahead file for unemployment while he sorts out whats in your best interest,

    Dont let them scare ya on whatever hapened before you went on fmla, Just tell them Alex did it ! Like you do here lol !

    I will admit to doing it unless its murder or something ! Besides you have everyone from spine health as your eye witness it was not you !

    Nobody ever knows where i am so i have no aliby ! So i could of done it right ? Just tell me where it hapened and how and i will confess ! There i was on this rainy day , It was raining right ? Yes judge it was raining and i was siting there having a smoke as i tossed my smoke out i seen smoke and then fire as the warehouse cought fire ,

    I object your honor ! This case is not about a warehouse being burned down, This is about Cath leaving something in the trunk of her car !

    Well your honor i was geting to that before i was rudely interupted by OJ dream team !

    What do you think Cath ? I think it will work ! Ey ?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I havent been on in a few days and I just read this. I am so sorry. It is bad enough that recovery isnt going as well as expected and then to have them terminate you while on FLMA is just wrong. You and I seem to be on the same path as we discussed before so I wonder if I should start to look for a new job. Lol. My health has been causing issues at work for me so Im just waiting for it. Please try to stay positive so this does not affect your healing. Big hug!!!!!
  • Cathy,

    It just sounds suspicious. If they knew they had a strong case, then they would have just fired you, not offered a severance package. I encourage you again to contact an attorney, even if you have already signed your severance package. If you haven't signed it yet but they've given you a date by which you need to sign it, ask for a date extension to allow more time to consult with an attorney. If they refuse to extend then you decide whether you sign it and maybe an attorney could show duress. With unemployment, call unemployment. I know in some states if you receive severance over a period of time in stead of as a lump sum you are eligible for unemployment. Also, I'd file for unemployment because the unemployment people may give weight to the fact that you have medical issues and medical issues may have affected your ability to perform your job prior to your surgery, if the alleged issue was shortly before you went out. Also, unless it was some really major issue, either unemployment or an attorney might consider that they should have used progressive discipline.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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