Just got canned! What now?

I just heard from my employer, they aren’t bringing me back! Ugh! What now?
I guess I should give a little history…
I went on medical leave November 9th for a total hip replacement. I emailed my employer December 11th saying I could come back the 17th. They replied with wanting to wait until after the first of the year to bring me back because work is slow. Then I get an email yesterday saying they had to replace me because I have been gone so long.
I have been gone an additional 2 plus weeks because THEY wanted to wait! Ugh!
I guess I’m going to have to try to apply for unemployment now and hope the Cobra insurance isn’t too much!
I can’t believe this is all happening, I felt like my co-workers were family. I’m so sad to learn differently.

Hiya, well that is a bit of a kick in the teeth. How long have you been working for them? Have you got all the correspondence you have had with them? You can take them to a tribunal if you have been there for longer than a year. My company did a similar thing to me but they had the law down pat as they got rid of me 2 wks before my 1 yr time. Tribunal said that I had a strong case but because it was before I had been there a year there was nothing they could do. I wish you luck in what you decide to do, Carol

No, Medicaid isn’t an option. My boyfriend makes too much for us to qualify for assistance. Now my employer is telling me Cobra may not be an option! Don’t they HAVE to provide at least a way for me to pay to continue my insurance?

The company and you have to meet some guidelines for them to be required to provide cobra coverage. You have to have worked there for a certain amount of time and the company has to be above so many employees. Instead of trying to paraphrase things or posting burdensome amounts of info, I have provided a link to the department of labors website about cobra.


I wish you luck. I will be reading this also to give myself a refresher as it now applies to me! Bleh!

If the writer is from England they can do that but we don't have anything like a tribunal in the USA. I know, awful, isn't it?

However, Tina might be able to get some legal remedy for being fired while being off due to a disability. I'm not sure, I'm not in the legal field. But it would probably be costly to pursue.

Right now, I think that Tina needs help. I'm going to pull up the "Help for low income Americans" thread in the hope that something on there will be of use to Tina. Tina, I strongly encourage you to read the thread and look for resources. There is so much on there.

Please be sure to apply for unemployment right away. And be persistent! You may well have to go down to the office to be helped as those who'd called have had a hard time getting through or getting someone on the phone.

If I can think of anything more, I'll let you know. Hopefully, you'll find something else in the meantime. And something that is less stressful to you and your fibro.

Tina, your boyfriend's salary shouldn't factor into your earnings since you're not married. I can't really think of an instance where they would. So you really should look into Medicaid. You may well be able to get it.

Hi Tina, Petunia is right...You are not married and this is about you not him. If you can get medicaid please do. My husband retired just before I became ill, we had done our buget including going up $200 for each of our health ins. We were going to be fine, not our ins went up a little over $200 and when it was time for renewal it went up $400 plus so in 1 year my and my husbands ins. went up $700 each. $1400 a month more. What really stinks is I have called every insurance company and we are uninsurable. Just wanted you to know so if you can fight for madicaid do it or maybe see if your county you live in has ins. We are in West Palm and my daughter got on this and they go by your pay , she makes good money and only had to pay $61 which is great. Keep us infomed please and I wish you the best of luck.. Gentle hugs, Robin

I would call your state labor board. If you were on disability than your job should be held for you. Especially since they flat out admitted it was due to your being sick. You can go online and check out your state laws and i would also check out Federal laws. I am 90 something percent positive ( i know it was illegal) that it is still illegal under disability act plus most state laws have laws against this.

If you were on State Disability which usually means you must be off for more than six weeks..that right there should have protected you. But you must follow all the legal notifications etc...most hospitals do have people that will work with you before you have surgery to help you get disability as well as if your company had a HR dept. They should have set it all up as well and given you a date by which you had to let them know when you were coming back. Even your doctor should have helped you out with this....i have had some that do and others that do not.

Kaiser is great about this...at least that was my experiences in Northern Calif with them.

You can file online but if you are not sure or have questions, i make appointment with your state labor board to find out if have legal complaint plus same with Federal labor. I am 90% positive that if you gave all right notices the federal disability act prevents them from doing this as long as you followed your end of requirements.

So check with both...sometimes even if they know you are considering filing a complaint with state labor board is enough to make them take you back as it can dig up other issues they might not be following legally.

One thing i have noticed as my friends age and younger generation is going to work is how little they know about their worker rights and same is true with companies blatantly breaking labor laws and employees are too afraid or do not know what to do....such as what i would think is obvious ..having alcohol available for employees to drink on the job. Just imagine all the liability it opens such as if employee hurts them self after drinking or driving home gets in accident...and hurts other driver ..that driver now can go after the company. Of course many are also hiring people right under 40 hours so they do not have to pay the over time or give them benefits....really sad how employees are being treated in many companies.

So check with your state and federal labor depts....If you have worked there and had good reviews plus followed all the rules they require when you are sick as well as your state and fed laws than you should get your job or job of equal standing back. They can make it hard on you....but if they really treat you different than other employees, if you do get your job back, than that is harassment. Just make sure you document it...keep notebook with dates, times and what occurred Plus do try and speak fairly to your boss and your HR dept with out losing your cool..that only work in your favor if it goes to court.

But from now on..document all you do even as to speaking with labor depts or anyone at your work. I think that they openly admitted they are letting you go due to your surgery that they messed up. That is as long as you did give them all right notifications etc.

But before anyone has surgery or is going to miss work for more than few days, it while you now not sick...do something to remind yourself to check with your doctor about what you need to do to keep your job plus speak to your HR or boss and ask them.. It is much better to do this ahead of time and be open than afterwards where you might not have known something and be horrible to lose your job just because you did not notify them within a few days of legal deadline.

I am very sorry and shame on them period for treating you as such! But do check....and really go in person if you can or call on phone...just document everything. I cannot tell you the number of times that has saved me!

GOOD Luck and i hope you hip is doing fine too!

Tina - I feel badly that you lost your job. I think it's illegal for your employer to let you go because of surgery. Every reponse

here to your discussion is what I would say as well. Apply for unemployment as soon as you can, so that you can still

pay your bills, have food ad so on. The fact that you felt so close to the other employees, happened to me. I wasn't fired,

but new management was taking over and they let me go. Are you getting severance pay? You should. I hope your

employer will be fair about this. Cobra insurance, I think, has different options you can choose from. This is what I had

to go on for a while. I think it's terrible that your employer emailed you about replacing you. The least he could've done was to call you and give you the news. You will get unbelievable support from this group and there are always wonderful

suggestions as well to help you get back on your feet again. Gentle hugs! Laurie


The first thing you need to do is determine if your medical issues fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act. That is the only thing that will legally protect your job, and your benefits. I'm almost positive you qualify, so check into it. Otherwise, they unfortunately were within their rights in the way they handled your termination.

Protection for Individuals under the FMLA

Good Luck, and keep us posted !


West Palm? I spend a lot of time in Coconut Creek..... I may need to drop by for a visit !!



Tina, you are getting great advice. I just want to point out a couple of things. FMLA only applies to companies that employ 50 or more employees for 20 work weeks… (I will let you read Renie’s link for all the details.) and it protects your job for up to 12 weeks for you to care for yourself or a close relative who is ill. The company does not have to pay you for those 12 weeks unless you have some type of leave, such as vacation or sick leave, to cover your time away. After 12 weeks, if you don’t return the week, the company can terminate your employment.

Then you get into the whole area of disability. Illness, such as a hip replacement, is not the same as disability. If you are determined to be disabled, then the company is required to make reasonable accommodations so that you can perform your job duties. And reasonable to one may not be reasonable to another. Disability falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here is a link to the US Dept. of Justice we page re: the ADA. http://www.ada.gov/

All this gets very complicated when you are talking about trying to get the benefits you are entitled to. I would strongly suggest that you speak to an attorney who knows employment law before you do anything. Many attorneys will give you a consultation for a relatively low rate if you explain your situation. And, if you intend to apply for social security disability, I would get started right away and also use an attorney for that. They won’t charge you anything unless you win and then they get a set percentage of any back pay you may receive.

I know this is an extremely difficult time for you. My husband just quit his job and I want to kill him. We have zero income and I am going through some pretty major health issues myself (in addition to fibro) so now I will have no insurance. I will be praying for you and hope that you will be okay.

you might want to contact an employment lawyer. that seems like a bad situation where they weren't very truthful

I'm so sorry you're going through this, and I agree with consulting an attorney. I'm not at all sure that what they did is legal.

Renie, Please let me know next time your down this way amd maybe we can meet up...That would be awesome :)

Robin, I am not that far. Can I just come stay for two weeks? Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with sugar on top. Pretty please with… I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. LOL

Ah yes didn't think about the difference between UK and USA...well I cannot really comment then.

They didn’t want to pay your ins probably. You find out who your friends are in a hurry when you are chronically ill.

I am so sorry. My bro is having a total hip rep on Feb 5 or 6. I hope you are doing better, and you hip is improving daily.

Hopefully, when you are ready, if you want another job, you will find one. If you are unable, hopefully, you will be able to get disability. I know this is simplistic, but sometimes things work out Tina.

Yes...that is partially true. Even small places must comply with larger bathrooms etc....but as to law protecting her it would not for firing he but labor law would.

I asked a few people who have labor law degrees and they felt she had decent case. Just depends on state as well but it never hurts to try. Why pay attorney when you have free state labor board who can tell you if you have case plus they represent you...that is why every state has one to protect workers rights.

Things happen for a reason, call a lawyer and relax, you desirve it!