Let go from my job

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by CKater, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. CKater

    CKater New Member

    Hello All,
    I'm looking for you opinions here. I have been an Executive Assistant for five years. This job is very demanding as I work for four executives and worked long hours. The job was stressful. I was diagnosed with FM/CFS in 07, and took a one month leave of absence due to this from June 2 to July7. I was paid full salary the whole time I was off- this is a benefit of all salaried people there. Since I've been back ( two full weeks), I've had to leave for PT twice a week, and they have said "we'll do the best we can to make sure you get there". They don't like it when I'm gone. The company is struggling financially and I know especially in my position that the company that owns us is pressuring them to reduce headcount especially salaried people since our benefits and salaries cost the company so much money. Yesterday the VP of HR whom I also worked for waited until all the other execs had left for lunch and called me into his office and said "We're letting you go"...he sited all kinds of ridiculous reasons, none of which were true, and then said they were giving me three months severence including my COBRA insurance. I asked him "this isn't because I'm sick is it?", he acted a little nervous and said NO...but just reiterated please have a lawyer look over the documents you have 21 days to sign, and call me and come and get your personal effects on a weekend or evening..basically so I didn't "upset the office" I think. Don't you all think that's odd. I have been given glowing reviews and raises consistently. Never been written up, given verbal or written warnings or anything..I am still in shock. I could go into what all he said, but he was try to intimate that I wasn't doing my job basically!!! I said NO ONE had EVER told me any of what you're saying, I don't believe this. I know this is rather long, but just looking for your thoughts. What would you do?? Bottom line is I was looking to quit by year end anyway, but this smells I think.
  2. Char412

    Char412 New Member

    Dear CKater,
    I am so sorry that you had to lose your job due to your illness. And Yes that is why they let you go and came up with a bunch of reasons that would be acceptable to the higher ups. I was suffering myself from Fibro and a bunch of other things when my appendix near burst and I had to go out for emergency surgery. I had complications healing and took longer than they thought I should have getting back to work. ( I was a Deputy Town Clerk) While I was recouperating at home My position was filled (Illegally) and I was going to be offered Part-Time when I got Back. Nice Huh! Well I put in my resignation as soon as I got wind of that from a friend who worked there also. I really should have brought a lawsuit against them, but I have to live in this town. And Yes politics can do things that would make your life miserable. I have been waiting 3 years for my Social Security Hearing and hope to have one soon. Take care of yourself and Hope all things go better for you soon.

    Hugs, Char412
  3. CKater

    CKater New Member

    I don't care about this town, or the fact that my employer is the largest employer here. What they did was wrong, and trying to intimate that it was because I was "suddenly" a bad employee just hurt me so bad. Psychologically I am in such a state right now, and just feeling so hurt and worthless, but I suppose that's just part of the process. I honestly feel it is because I am sick. I have really struggled with the dd, and they've known it. It is a large company, but very closed knit. I guess I will just take a couple of days and then talk to my lawyer and see what he says about it. I am nearly in tears writing this as I just feel so hurt.
  4. cookie1960

    cookie1960 New Member

    hire an attorney. They will either offer you a bigger and better "package" or let you have your job back. If they are a big corporation...they won't want the bad publicity.

  5. CKater

    CKater New Member

    No, I did not miss a lot of work...came in and worked long hours all the time. The last CEO was a total tirant, and very deamnding. The work I did such as presentations etc could not be done by others in the organization because they were by and large unskilled and low paid clerical workers, all hourly. I was salaried, and paid very well. Like I said all of my reviews were glowing and I never so much as had any verbal warnings of any kind saying that I was doing anything wrong. The "we're letting you go" was made to sound like it was performance related, but in my position I knew full well that they were told from the parent company in no uncertain terms to reduce headcount specifically salaried individuals. And I even said the the VP of HR, why was I never told any of this...he had no answer. I specifically said to him, and in a non-threatening way, "this isn't because I'm sick is it", he said no, but just (two weeks) back from and FMLA leave of absence for FM/CFS related sickness and BOOM, I'm being let go. I just feel something isn't right.
  6. pasara

    pasara New Member

    I would not sign anything until you have spoken to an attorney. Three months severance is not a lot. And the loss of health insurance will be big once the COBRA runs out. (I know from personal experience.)Even if ultimately you do not get your job back, a company in trouble is not interested in a wrongful termination lawsuit. An attorney should at least help you negotiate a fair settlement. Sorry this happened to you.
  7. CKater

    CKater New Member

    I am just so upset and sad....it's so hard being in pain and so exhausted. I tried so hard at work everyday and then to have them suddenly tell me I'm no good, and good-bye is just so devastating that I am just sitting here crying. I'm not worrying about finances. My husband has a good job, and we can pick up his insurance. I don't need to work, but it's not the point. I was a good employee, and they've made me feel like a bad person and basically disposable...and two weeks after I come back from a medical leave of absence, and everyday struggling with pain and fatigue. I hate this!! But I will calm down tomorrow or Friday and call an attorney, thank you all so much
  8. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    But don't give up. You either need to give yourself time to grieve this, then let it go, or grieve this, and get fighting. If you decide not to fight, but hold on to the pain, you'll just make things worse for yourself.

    In effect, you could have been treated worse. I have a friend whose company packs their things and escorts them off the property directly after the firing. Have you kept copies of your reviews? I honestly think you're being railroaded, due to cash flow problems, and you (having taken time off) appear the least likely to fight back.

    Let us know what you decide.
  9. CKater

    CKater New Member

    Right after I was told I was being let go, I was also told that I should call and arrange another time to pick up my personal effects. He made it seem like he wanted me to make a quick exit with no upheaval or dramatics. You know, don't upset the apple cart. Didn't want the other employees seeing it. My files at work have my performance evals in them. If they go through my things they're gone; however, a friend I spoke to last night told me that it would not matter they would have to disclose my reviews if taken to court, but then who knows what they'll come up with. It would basically come down to he said/she said I would think. I will calm down, my husband is very practical and he too said give this a couple of days so that I am thinking more clearly. I'm not a quitter, and I won't have my professional reputation ran through the mud whether I want to ever work again or not. This isn't a big town, not that I really care what most of those people think anyway, but it's the principal. One day they can't do without you, and the next day you're the worst employee there and get out?? Two weeks after a medical leave and now having to leave twice weekly for PT? I could go on and on about the strange culture there, but won't. It just upsets me too much. Being told you're a bad employee/person after giving it your all for so many years just hurts. Being sick on top of it makes it even worse I guess...well at least for today. Thank you for you kind words.
  10. hensue

    hensue New Member

    It was a high retail store. I did everything but buy. Books wait on customers accounts payable all checkbooks,
    she was losing her but. She had charged every thing she ever wanted through the store. It all came to a head. So she started making me miserable and another girl. Of course i was paid the most. It is long story but she was being dishonest and had a millionaire come in and redo her books and she was going to accuse me of stealing. She knew I would draw unemployment if she fired me. Yes she could accuse me I had cashed many checks for her to go to Market.
    She could and would do anything I know her. So at the time. She was gone out of town and i was in charge. I was manipulated. I hired an attorney did not wait for her to get back. I wrote a resignation paper and the other girl quit also. If we had not written that paper i could have gotten unemployment. She kept saying i need young people in here. After you are loyal to someone after 20 years. People will do anything. They are cruel and harsh. My attorney has all the copies of her books where she has covered up a lot of stuff. I would be drawn into it if it went to court. I would fight if I were you. I did exactly what they wanted me to. I was stupid! i was mad and hurt. My mother had been a judge in this town. I would never do anything illegal. If i were you i would file a suit against them. If they have never written you up. Nothing against you.They fired you because you made more. They had to cut cost. just like me. It sucks
    Get a lawyer they will take your case. Yes it smells.
    Just like mine.
    I am still in shock and it has been since last sept. do you know how hard it is to get a job?
  11. texangal81

    texangal81 New Member

    They are trying to pull something on you and your gut instinct knows it. I would get a laywer. If nothing else you can get more money out of them over this. If you haven't been written up for poor performance, they are going to have a tough time proving their case.

    Good luck!

  12. CKater

    CKater New Member

    NOT ONCE written up, never verbally anything. And they know that I knew in my position that our parent company wanted headcount reductions. In my case it was just easier I think because I did take the months leave of absence. They didn't see it coming because I didn't complain everyday about being sick and I came to work even when I was terrible ill. They filled in my position with an hourly girl while I was gone. But two weeks after coming back to work, they tell me I'm out and for reasons like "I was rude to an executive from our parent company"...TOTALLY false,,,if anything everyone there kissing their royal butts as we know we all have to especially me, and especially in my position. I'm no idiot. I'm one of the very few there with a college degree. I do think it was planned now that I think about it. I put in for one day of vacation via email as is appropriate to the CEO whom I worked for to move my son to college. He always responds with OK....not this time...nothing. No response, and that was a week ago.
    I am planning to contact a labor attorney. My husband is trying to find a decent one today that would have no ties to this company as it is local and quite large. May have to go some distance out of the area, but I will, even if they tell me I'm barking up the wrong tree I'll have some peace of mind.
  13. steach

    steach Member

    Jeerie has given you alot of good information. In addition, you might want to contact the state EEO and file a complaint. You will need any and all documentation that you have, including job/performance evaluations, leave request forms, medical records, etc. If you belong to a union, contact the union rep or the president/vice-president of the union. Also, you could contact a representative from the ADA association to advocate for you.

    Do you have a current FMLA(Family and Medical Leave Act) application/form on file with this company? If you do, that will give you more leverage in a wrongful termination.

    Ask the company's human resource officer for a copy of your personnel file -and- the company's private file. If they will allow you to go in to review the file, take a tablet and make a list of every item that is in the file- this way, when you do get a copy, you will know all of the contents are included.

    Several years ago, I was teaching in a state prison and had to take a short-term disability leave. When I returned, they tried everything they could to terminate me. I had one hell of a battle just to keep my job. I had to fight for my rights to have reasonable accommodations under the ADA.

    I felt as though I was constantly walking on egg shells and eventually resigned -but- I did help others who were in similar situations to keep their jobs and the state made accommodations for them! :) :)

    Just a tip from my experience, document EVERYTHING that you can remember- starting with who you spoke with about taking a leave of absence, what you were told, the forms/paperwork that was signed, any comments that were made to you, any contact while you were off, your return date, how the company treated you upon returning, ..... Everything that you can remember- even if it doesn't seem important!

    It sounds like this company has terminated you due to a medical disability- per FEDERAL law, that is illegal! Hopefully your attorney will remind them of their violations of federal employment regulations.

    Please keep us up-dated. Don't give up!!

  14. CKater

    CKater New Member

    Thank you all so much for your support and good advice. I guess I wasn't aware that I could see my personel file, and that might be interesting to ask about, but I'll give it a try. I'm not convinced the VP of HR who actually was the one who let me go, and one of the execs I worked for knows all that much about HR Law, afterall he only has a GED (no lie)!!.
    I'll make a list of everything you suggested and contact my doctor's office too for copies of what they sent as far as FMLA paperwork.
    Again, I cannot thank you all enough. It's nice to have some support. I feel so sad, hurt and alone right now.
  15. kking0412

    kking0412 New Member

    I was crushed when it happened to me; but the stress of that job, talk about a toxic boss! I believe exacerbated the illness. I agree. get a lawyer PDQ! and you are right, it does not just smell, it stinks!

    ((((((((((((((gentle hugs))))))))))))
  16. CKater

    CKater New Member

    Yes, it's terribly hard to get a job and replace income especially if it was a good one in this economy. Sounds like the company you worked for was really screwed up and you too got railroaded. Can you get or did you get any unemployment? Anything at all?
  17. CKater

    CKater New Member

    Yes, I think the stress of the job definately wasn't doing me any favors healthwise, and like I said I was really thinking of quitting by the end of the year. When I got so sick a month a go, my hubby said then to just quit. But stupid me thought no, then this dd wins. It amazes me that a person who takes an FMLA leave and comes back two weeks later is suddenly "let go"...like they never even heard of the ADA. They know I have FM/CFS...have known it. The whole time I was off not ONE phone call asking how I was...how's that for support? That hurt. But I thought with all of the crap they were going through I was the least of what they had on their plates and I should get over myself. Now, I think differenly. I am so hurt, and I feel a sense of shame even though I know in my heart I did nothing WRONG!!!
  18. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 New Member

    Good luck with the lawyer, I hope you can fight this thing. I do a small amount of HR in my position and from the little I know, it will be very difficult to prove any work performance issues becuase they don't have any documentation of problems.

    You've gotten alot of good advice here so I don't really have anything to add - but go get 'em girl!

    Keep your head up, I know it's devasting to be let go but don't start feeling bad about yourself. Remember that your illness is out of your control and you are just doing the best that you can to manage your life in spite of it.

    Keep us posted!

    Hugs, Kristina

  19. CKater

    CKater New Member

    Right you are...and I won't contact them at all until I speak to an attorney. I do not want to mess anything up in any way. My gut feeling is if they are contacted by an attorney representing me to get my personal effects or ask for copies of my personnel files they'll crap! I'm also seeing my doc early next week, my PT tomorrow, and my pain psych too, sort of leaving no stone unturned. I also have an appointment with my rheumy next week coincidentally. Like I said in an earlier post, if I'm told I'm barking up the wrong tree...so be it. But I just feel I have been totally wronged!! Thank you so much for your wise and supportive words
  20. wildflowers2

    wildflowers2 New Member

    Sorry to hear of these troubles. Is your state an employment 'at will" state? PA is and a co can let you go for NO reason at all and there is NOTHING you van do about it.

    Honestly, they did give you a good package.

    If, it makes you feel any better I have been fired from 15 jobs in 20 years.

    The last job was for 9 days at Capital Blue Cross ( Nov-2007). They didnt even have handicap parking in their own lots.

    best of luck to you