What to do if a employee who has cacner is wrongfully terminated?

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What to do if a employee who has cacner is wrongfully terminated?

My sister is a registered nurse who has recently been diagnosed with uterine cancer. After confiding in her supervisor of her condition, she shortly received a termination notice. This letter clearly stated that she was being terminated because “her health condition could jeopardize the patients well being”. Because she has lost her job, she has also lost her insurance and can no longer be treated. She has done nothing but bust her behind and her performance has never suffered due to her illness. This seems completely illegal, immoral, and disgusting.

Asked on August 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

She needs to talk to her HR department about having them reconsider their decision and filing for Family Medical Leave, because certainly, her condition would qualify.  Instead of termination, they should have offered her leave.  She also needs to talk to HR about an accomodation under the ADA.  She may or may not qualify for this, but if she can still function as a nurse, then she may qualify and they should accommodate.  If neither option works, consult with an employment law attorney to file a wrongful discharge suit and for FMLA violations-- because they clearly tried to fire her before she could invoke that right.  The success of this suit will depend on the letter she received and any other contracts/agreements that she signed as part of her employment situation.

Another option-- which isn't necessarily a legal option, but has worked in similar situations, is to start blogging about the employer's conduct.  This situation just reaks of bad taste and has to violate the very "mission statement" most likely listed somewhere on the company website.  Sometimes just calling their hand can have the most profound effect because bad press affects the bottom line-- which is probably what they are about anyhow, based on their actions.


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